The US Capitol has been put into lockdown as protesters supporting President Donald Trump, clash with police.
What happened at the US Capitol
Supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting a peaceful transfer of power, forcing lawmakers to be rushed from the building and halting the vote to certify Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
Trump issued a restrained call for peace but did not call on his supporters to leave.
At an earlier rally, Trump had urged his supporters to march to the Capitol.
After protesters clashed with law enforcement and breached the Capitol building, Trump tweeted to his supporters to “stay peaceful.”
“Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement,” Trump tweeted. “They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
One person was shot amid the melee, the Associated Press reported, although the exact circumstances surrounding the incident were unclear.
A White House spokesperson said the National Guard is being deployed to the US Capitol, along with other federal protective services.
Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser also announced a citywide curfew for the District of Columbia from 6:00pm on Wednesday, January 6 (local time) until 6:00am on Thursday, January 7.
Remarks from Joe Biden and Donald Trump on Capitol Violence
President-elect Joe Biden and President Trump both made remarks on the rioting at the Capitol building.
I am sorry, not just an inconvenience, but I am sorry for the reason we have delayed–I have delayed coming out to speak to you. I initially was going to talk about the economy, but all of you–all of you have been watching what I have been watching.
At this hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault unlike anything we have seen in modern times; an assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself, an assault on the people’s representatives and the Capitol Hill Police sworn to protect them and the public servants who work at the heart of our Republic; an assault on the rule of law like few times we have ever seen it; an assault on the most sacred of American undertakings, the doing of the people’s business.
Let me be very clear: The scenes and chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America, do not represent who we are. What we are seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to the lawlessness. This is not dissent; it’s disorder, it’s chaos. It borders on sedition, and it must end now.
I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward. You have heard me say before in different context–the words of a president matter, no matter how good or bad that president is. At their best, the words of a president can inspire; at their worst, they can incite.
Therefore, I call on President Trump to go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.
To storm the Capitol, to smash windows, to occupy offices, to swarm the United States Senate rummaging through desks on the Capitol, on the House of Representatives, threatening the safety of duly elected officials–it’s not protest; it is insurrection.
The world is watching. Like so many other Americans, I am genuinely shocked and saddened that our nation, so long the beacon of light and hope for democracy, has come to such a dark moment.
Through war and strife, America has endured much, and we will endure here, and we will prevail again, and we will prevail now. The work of the moment and the work of the next four years must be the restoration of democracy, of decency, honor, respect, the rule of law, just plain simple decency. The renewal of politics it is about solving problems, looking out for one another, not stoking the flames of hate and chaos.
As I said, America is about honor, decency, respect, tolerance. That is who we are; that is who we have always been. The certification of the Electoral College vote is supposed to be a sacred ritual to affirm…the majesty of American democracy, but today is a reminder, a painful one, that democracy is fragile and to preserve it requires people of goodwill, leaders who have the courage to stand up, who are devoted not to the pursuit of power but with personal interest pursuits of their own selfish interests at any cost but of the common good.
Think what our children watching television are thinking. Think with the rest of the world is looking at. For nearly two and a half centuries, we, the people in search of a more perfect union, have kept our eyes on that common good. America is so much better than what we see today.
Watching the scenes from the Capitol, I was reminded, as I prepared other speeches in the past, was reminded of the words of Abraham Lincoln in his annual message to Congress, whose work has today been interrupted by chaos.
Here is what Lincoln said, he said: “we shall nobly save or merely lose the last best hope on earth.” Went on to say “the way is plain, peaceful, generous, just, a way which if followed the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.” The way is plain here too. That is who we are. It is the way of democracy, of respect, of decency, of honor and commitment as patriots to this nation.
Notwithstanding what I saw today, and we are seeing today, I remain optimistic about the incredible opportunities. There has never been anything we can’t do when we do it together, and this god-awful display today is bringing home to every Republican and Democrat and independent in the nation that we must step up.
This is the United States of America. There has never ever ever ever ever been a thing we have tried to do that when we have done it together we have not been able to do it.
So President Trump, step up.
May God bless America. May God protect our troops and all of those folks in the Capitol who are trying to preserve order. Thank you, and I am sorry to have kept you waiting.
I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it–especially the other side. But you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order.
We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt. It’s a very tough period of time. There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us–from me, from you, from our country.
This was a fraudulent election but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace, so go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way, others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace.