A Reflection on the Insurrection: January 6th, 2021


Photo by Creative Commons

Protesters storming the U.S. Capitol building on January 6th, 2021.

Bia Leffingwell & Mimi Osborne, Managing Editor of Op-Ed & Director of Sports

On January 6, 2021, after the victory of presidential candidate Joe Biden over Former President Donald Trump, thousands of ardent Trump supporters attacked the United States Capitol Building. With an estimated 30 million dollars worth of damage and five counted deaths among hundreds of others wounded, the Capitol riot was one of the most horrific incidents of insurrection in US history. 

The riot commenced early in the morning at the National Mall when Trump supporters gathered to protest the results from the November election; however, with urging from the former president himself, the mob quickly turned to the Capitol. Leading up to the storming, Trump stated the following phrases: 

January 1: “January 6th. See you in D.C.” 

January 4: “If the liberal Democrats take the Senate and the White House — and they’re not taking this White House — we’re going to fight like hell, I’ll tell you right now.” 

January 6: “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol […] you’ll never take back our country with weakness.”

Just two hours before the attack on the Capitol, two bombs were found in the city—one near the Republican National Committee offices and the other by the Democratic National Committee offices. It is believed that these pipe bombs were used to distract police officers from the impending breach of the Capitol Building. 

As the attack commenced, Capitol policemen were quickly overwhelmed and called in for reinforcements from the Metropolitan Police Department. Many of these officers were bashed with deadly weapons from the rioters including baseball bats, flagpoles, steel pipes, pepper spray, and more. If not physically attacked by an upriser, officers were crushed under the sheer force and chaos of the mob. Five people died amongst hundreds of others injured. 

By 2:13pm, the Capitol was breached. It is estimated by law enforcement that over 10,000 rioters stormed the grounds, and 1,200 breached the building. Several flags were waved, including the Confederate flag and Nazi emblem. For the first time in American history, these flags were displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building. The Senate adjourned, the House recessed, and all staff inside of the building were safely taken to an underground bunker until the chaos was controlled. By 6:15pm, the Capitol was back in safe hands. 

Former President Donald Trump was impeached on January 13th for encouraging the uprising, and 630 Americans were charged with federal offenses by the end of September 2021. Over seventy countries offered their condolences and concern following the attack, many of whom condemned Donald Trump for his participation in the tragic event. America was able to quickly pick itself back up again, but the event will go down in American history as one of the country’s most horrific days.