January 6: A Day Turned Deadly

Alexandra Fennelly, Editor-in-Chief

   January 6, 2021, was a day that was to be a celebration for Democrats. The victory of Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in the Georgia Senate election was a huge win for Democrats in America. This ensured that democrats will control the Senate and that the plans of President Joe Biden can run smoothly throughout the Senate. However, it will live on in the memories of every American for a different reason. On their television screens, Americans watched as insurrectionists invaded the U.S. Capitol building.  

Throughout the whole election, Trump on multiple occasions, and on almost every social media platform, said that this election was rigged. Some of his supporters also strongly believe that this election was rigged and that President Joe Biden didn’t win, prompting a “Stop the Steal” movement.  False rumors and conspiracy theories spread throughout the internet, including that hundreds of dead people voted, people voted twice, Democrats were shredding ballots, and voting machines were deleting votes. These rumors continued to spread, despite the fact that the Executive Committee of the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council (GCC) released a statement saying that the “November 3rd election was the most secure in American history.” 

Trump’s lawyers tried to fight the outcome of the Georgia presidential election, but dismissed the four pending lawsuits in early January. The Democratic victories in the Georgia Senate run-off elections further proved that a majority of the people, although slim, wanted a Democratic leader for their state and wanted that change. 

Many Trump supporters didn’t take this as an answer. At a rally on the morning of the riots, Trump told his supporters gathered at the White House, “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.” Some were peacefully protesting at the Capitol, which they have every right to do, but some took this right and crossed the line morally and legally. 

Trump supporters invaded the Capitol despite guards and police trying to keep them away.  Not only did this create fear for the politicians in the Capitol, but created a landslide of fear for those of us at home viewing this on our television screens. Watching how a peaceful protest can change in a snap to a violent act of domestic terrorism, viewers saw videos and photos released on news outlets from first and second-hand sources of what occurred in the Capitol building. Congressmen and women were fearful of their lives with citizens invading the building and even making their way into their offices in order to insight chaos and fear.

 Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posted a video on Instagram about the event that took place and wanted to show the truth of what happened from the perspective of  someone who experienced it first hand. She discussed how she feels that Donald Trump has betrayed the democracy of the United States, what it was built on. She fears that cannot  even trust some of her Republican colleagues because she fears they were disclosing her location to be a target for violence as she is a Democrat. “This was never about safety for them. It was always a slogan because if they actually cared about rule of law they would speak up when people break the law,” said AOC. 

 Even some Republican senators have aligned with the democrats at the second attempt to impeach Donald Trump, weeks before his term is over. Representative Liz Cheney, stated “Trump summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and let the flame of this attack.” She added that it was the “greatest betrayal” to the United States. 

Senator Mitch McConnell said that Donald Trump committed “impeachable” actions by “provoking” the mob at the Capitol, but has since distanced himself from calls for impeachment. 

 As a result of the storming of the Capitol, more than 50 cases have been open to the investigation against those who mobbed the Capitol.  Five people died due to the acts of violence committed at The Capitol, including a police officer who was beaten with a fire extinguisher, and 56 officers were injured.