Riots at the Capitol

Early Wednesday, President Trump encouraged his supporters to make their way to the US capitol while the Congress were counting the Electoral college votes. Chaos erupted as an angry mob of rioters breached the building while waving Trump flags and wearing Trump gear. The incident resulted in 4 deaths and 52 arrests. 17 members of congress then signed a letter to Vice-president Mike Pence asking him to the 25th amendment to remove Trump. The 25th amendment formally outlines the transition of power if the president is unfit or unable to serve.

Criticism is now centered on the apparent under-preparedness of the police. Protesters were filmed being guided or escorted out of the building without any arrest. Another clip also shows a police officer posing for a selfie with one of the rioters. Soon to be vice president Kamala Harris said: “we have witnessed two systems of justice. One that let extremists storm the US Capitol yesterday, and another that realized tear gas on peaceful protesters last summer. It’s simply unacceptable”.

The congress reconvened about six hours later, taking up where they had left off: the hearing of the objection from senator Ted Cruz and congressman Paul Gosar to Arizona’s electoral results. The Senate and the House both rejected it. Vice president Mike Pence announced just after 3:40 am Thursday that president-elect Joe Biden had won the presidency after congress completed the counting of the Electoral college votes.

Though rioting is unusual at the Capitol, it has its history of violence. In 1998, two police officers were shot and killed by a man who made his way into the first floor of the building. In 1954, five house lawmakers were shot and wounded by members of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party.

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