Massive protests have erupted at the Capitol as Trump supporters storm the building. Senators and Congressmen have been evacuated and are sheltering in place.
UPDATE, 1/6/21, 3:13pm ET: The doors to the House chamber are now locked and barricaded with about 100 people sheltering inside, according to NBC News. House members were told to get under their chairs and put on masks before they were eventually evacuated from the floor. However, members in the press gallery above the floor still remain locked inside.
ORIGINAL: As a joint session of Congress votes to certify Joe Biden officially as the winner of the 2020 presidential election, irate protestors outside the Capitol, convinced that votes were stolen from President Donald Trump, stormed the building. Senators and Congressmen inside the building (as well as Vice President Mike Pence) were forced to evacuate as hundreds of protestors slammed past Capitol police and security barricades, attempting to break into the Senate chambers. The Capitol’s campus is now locked down, and politicians are either evacuating or sheltering in place for fear of violence.
Footage of the protest, which started out somewhat peacefully, is terrifying. Hundreds of enraged Trump supporters, armed with campaign banners and Confederate flags, wearing those ubiquitous red MAGA caps, tussled with Capitol police as they pushed through barricades in droves. Police couldn’t hold them back, and they succeeded in busting inside. Protestors allegedly broke windows and knocked down doors, attempting to confront the joint session of Congress, according to The Blaze reporter Elijah Schaffer, who was on the scene.
The violent outburst began around 1:00pm ET, shortly after President Trump addressed the crowd himself. Trump vowed to never concede to Biden, who will be inaugurated on January 20, and claimed again that the 2020 election was rigged. His speech comes just days after he pressured the Georgia Secretary of State to “find more votes” for him. “Our country has had enough,” Trump said. “We won’t take it anymore.” Protestors succeeded in entering the chambers shortly afterward.
After the speech, protestors marched to the Capitol, shouting “Whose Capitol? Our Capitol,” according to NPR’s Hannah Allam. Some Trump supporters were seen erecting a giant wooden cross outside the capitol, which some on Twitter believe is the action of the Ku Klux Klan. As the violent protest continued, Trump took to Twitter to urge his supporters to stand down. “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
It’s unclear if any of the protestors inside the Capitol are armed, but hours before the mob gathered, DC police had made 12 arrests connected to the rally. Charges included possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device, possession of an unregistered ammunition, carrying a pistol without a license, carrying a rifle or a shotgun outside home or business, possession of a of a prohibited weapon, and more. Footage from the scene showed an unidentified woman, covered in blood, being wheeled out of the Capitol building.
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