History was made on January 6th when thousands of Trump supporters marched down Pennsylvania Avenue following a rally thrown by the president. Their intentions were not peaceful. Upon reaching the Capitol, hundreds stormed the building in an attempt to disrupt the counting of the Electoral College votes that would certify the presidential election victory of Joe Biden.
We know exactly what spurred this violence: the attack was largely incited by the President himself. At the rally on the same day, Trump repeated his false claims that the election has been “stolen” and called on his supporters to "fight like hell" to "take back our country" before explicitly encouraging their march.
Moreover, the president helped to facilitate the violence as tensions were reaching their breaking point by initially refusing to send the District of Columbia National Guard to quell the growing mob outside the Capitol building. He further failed to condemn the event immediately following, going so far as to refer to the rioters as “great patriots” in a video afterward.
The domestic terrorism on display during this event was violent and condemnable. After breaching police lines, rioters occupied, vandalized, and looted parts of the building for several hours. Some of the damage, theft, and impact included storming the offices of Nancy Pelosi, flipping tables, and ripping photos from walls. Many called for harm against sitting members of congress while some even called to find members and take them hostage. ABC News;later reported that both the FBI recovered several explosive devices strewn across the Capitol building that was intended to cause serious harm.
The responses by the national and international community were quick and decisive. The event was characterized as treason, insurrection, sedition, and domestic terrorism. Immediately following, Trump was banned from all social media platforms for inciting violence, and on January 11, 2021, an Article of Impeachment charging Trump with "incitement of insurrection" against the U.S. government was introduced to the House of Representatives.
Many are also condemning the actions of some of the police officers during the riot. Much of the criticism focuses on how the police hardly used deadly force against any of the white rioters and seemed to bend the knee to them allowing free passage into the Capitol grounds. At the same time, cops were trigger happy this summer during Black Lives Matter marches that were mostly peaceful.
It was a dark day for democracy. The symbol of the American transition of power was threatened by extremists with no mental capacity to compromise or reason.