The attack on Congress sets a new low for the United States as it begins 2021.
Pro-Trump Mob Storms Capitol
A violent mob of protesters loyal to and egged on by U.S. President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday as lawmakers were attempting to officially certify the victory of President-elect Joe Biden in November’s election.
Rioters overwhelmed local police, invaded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, looted furniture and mementos, and ran freely through the hallways of the Capitol as hundreds of lawmakers went into hiding.
Washington, D.C. authorities say four people died during the violence, one of whom was shot by police. The joint session of Congress reconvened late on Wednesday evening and, after debating through the night, officially certified Biden’s victory early on Thursday morning.
The events seem to have taken local authorities by surprise: Police could be seen jostling with protesters while clad in bike helmets and light protective gear—a far cry from the mass militarization the city saw in the wake of protests over the death of George Floyd during the summer.
The world reacts. International reaction came swiftly. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the scenes as “disgraceful” and called for a peaceful transfer of power.