Capitol Protests: January 6, 2021

Photojournalism

For the past two months, Donald Trump and his lawyers have been raising hell about election irregularities. After several defeats in court, the last ditch attempt to keep Trump as president for four more years was to be when the Congress certified the presidential electors on January 6.

Trump hosted a rally with a series of speakers at the Washington DC Ellipse starting at 9:00 AM. Trump headlined the speaker series and delivered a firey speach from 12:00 to 1:10PM in which he encouraged his supporters to demonstrate in front of the Capitol Building where the vote to authorize the electors was to take place.

Here are photos from some things that I saw that day.

A demonstrator shows off her sign. The urine streams show the surge in Biden ballots that suddenly arrived in the middle of the night when everyone thought that Trump had the election in the bag.
There’s a strong correlation between conservative voters and objections to mandated COVID masking.
There were a ton of Chinese immigrants demonstrating against the Chinese Communist Party.
Attendees climbed trees to better see the speakers in the Ellipse.
Christianity and support for Trump were often conflated. Churches from around the country organized many of the groups that came to DC for the protests.
This lady is an immigrant from Viet Nam and now resides in Kansas. The guy in khaki tactical gear has a patch saying “Texas Milita” and the guy behind her with the red hat is wearing a Kansas state flag as a cape.
When Trump first took the stage, the crowd erupted into an orgy of sign and flag waving.
Jake Angeli of Arizona became a celebrity a few hours after I shot this photo when he entered the Senate chambers and occupied the dais. He has since been arrested. Temperatures were in the high 30s and WINDY. I have no idea how an Arizonan could tolerate the weather dressed like this, but he did somehow!
This giant American flag was passed around for the duration of the speeches.

The end of the rally

Trump concluded his 70-minute speech by instructing all the people to march on the Capitol building. One of the more surreal moments I had occurred immediately after the conclusion. I watched a petite 5’1″ tall woman jumping up and down and yelling in her Vietnamese accent, “I love you, Mr. Trump! I will fight for you! I will fight for you!”

Attracted by the crowds, these fire and brimstone street preachers had a different message for the masses.
A DC Metro police officer encourages offended passer-byes to open some space between them and the street preachers.
There were a LOT of people from Viet Nam at the rally, as evinced by Vietnamese flags everywhere. Here, a group from Sacramento, California organizes a parade march down the street.

The storming of the Capitol

I was still a mile away from the Capitol building when demonstrators first breached its defenses. I suspected something was up because a bunch of police sirens started going off and a few minutes later, I got an emergency alert on my phone that the mayor of DC had declared a 6:00 pm curfew.

People were pouring away from the building; I was one of the few people that was walking towards it. A couple of the people who had been there told me that people had fought their way inside, and that cops were using flash bangs and tear gas.

This shot was taken after all hell broke loose and the Capitol Building was breached. I don’t know if this woman had entered the Capitol building, but she did come out of it with a souvenir sign.
The stripe of dead grass is where the barriers used to be that kept people from approaching the Capitol building.
Demonstrators repurposed the steel barriers and used them as ladders to make it easier to scale the walls surrounding the Capitol.
A woman dressed as the Statue of Liberty in chains demonstrates in front of the Capitol Building.
A woman dressed as the Statue of Liberty in chains demonstrates in front of the Capitol Building.
A couple pauses to take a selfie during the Capitol occupation.
Demonstrators swarmed the Capitol like ants on a piece of hard candy.
They hung all sorts of flags from the building.
This guy brought a bicycle helmet and snare drum to the Capitol.
Many people talked about a new American Revolution. Perhaps that’s why this guy is wearing a tri-cornered hat.
After expelling the demonstrators from inside the building, the police successfully established a perimeter. They used flash bang grenades and tear gas when the demonstrators got too uppity, thus the gas masks.
Police officers observing the crowd. They are not paranoid about Covid! Tear gas was being used occasionally, and that’s why they’re wearing those masks.
This picture gives an idea of the size of the demonstration. And there were a TON of people that had already left the Capitol when cops started using tear gas a couple hours prior.
Angry citizen confronts a line of riot police.
Angry citizen confronts a line of riot police.
This guy brought a real pitchfork, and mounted his camera to it. Clever!
This shot gives an idea about the density of the crowd.
On the Capitol scaffolding: “The people will bring DC to its knees. We have the power.”
Heh.
A woman brandishes a Gadsen flag on the Capitol steps.
These three guys climbed on top of a police vehicle to demonstrate.
An Associated Press crew set up to do a report about the mayhem and was run off by the crowd. The mob proceeded to smash their lighting and camera equipment. The rumor was that it belonged to CNN, when it was actually AP. I doubt it would have made a difference to the mob, though.
After destroying everything, they piled the media equipment into a pile and unsuccessfully tried to set it on fire.
The DC mayor called for a curfew at 6:00pm. At around 5:30, the police formed a line and drove all the demonstrators off of the Capitol grounds.

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