Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the U.S. Capitol while Congress was meeting to confirm the electoral college vote that will install President-elect Joe Biden into the White House have apparently breached the capitol building on Wednesday (Jan. 6), disrupting legislative procedures and causing chaos, safety issues and an evacuation.
It is unclear if the protesters — who are bordering on domestic terrorism — are from an organized group or just random people, but what is clear is that they are determined to stop Biden from becoming president, believing President Donald Trump’s baseless claims that massive voter fraud was the reason he lost the 2020 election.
Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota tweeted an image of the fracas, showing people running through the building, but there is apparently no large presence from the Secret Service, Capitol Police or any other major law enforcement or security force. That may change, but the crowd was not dispersed by midafternoon on Wednesday.
Members of the House and Senate were being moved to safety, while other staffers were being told to shelter in place. It is not clear when control will be returned to U.S. Capitol law enforcement.
Demonstrations are not unusual at the Capitol building and it is normally a free area for people to walk around. Further, people can also enter the building on a normal day, but must go through security screening. A breach of a federal government building is considered a federal crime, according to the U.S. Code.
It defines the crime as:
Whoever…knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions…
Those found guilty would be subject to a fine and 10 years imprisonment.
We will continue to update the story as it unfolds…
Two Sets Of Rules
The incident is an apparent juxtaposition to protests last summer by many in the Black Lives Matter movement demonstrating the police violence against people of color in which Secret Service police lobbed tear gas at them just yards from the White House.
It also comes not even a full day after Rev. Raphael Warnock was elected Georgia’s first Black senator in the state’s highly contested senate runoff election.
Black Twitter has erupted over what is an obvious difference in how law enforcement has handled this set of protestors over those who felt the choke of tear gas and the sting of rubber bullets. Here are some reactions below: