Current Affairs

US Capitol Building Under Lockdown

As protestors surged the Capitol, this lockdown had little to do with COVID-19

7th January 2021 12:45 GMT

The US Capitol was put on lockdown yesterday as trump supporters protested against the election result. There were 52 arrests and 4 deaths, one of whom was a woman who was shot by a police officer. Two pipe bombs were also recovered from inside the headquarters of both the Republican and Democratic national committees. A vehicle was also found to contain a cooler full of Molotov cocktails. 47 of the arrests were due to breaches of the imposed 6pm curfew.

 

Many are blaming Trump himself for the incident, after weeks of calling for an end to the alleged election fraud. On December 20th he tweeted: ‘Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election. Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!’ Trump called the march the ‘Save America March’. House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney went as far as to say that there is ‘no question that the President formed the mob, the President incited the mob, the President addressed the mob. He lit the flame.’

And it was. Thousands of protestors marched on the Capitol to express their anger toward the election and the lack of action taken to combat the alleged election fraud. Despite knowing about the protest thanks to Trump’s tweet on dec. 20th, the police force that protects the legislative complex was completely overrun by the swarm of Trump supporters in what turned out to be a massive failure to prepare. Many have called it one of the greatest security lapses in recent US history, as a symbol of American power was turned into a mob of political violence.

 

Security at first was handled entirely by the US Capitol Police, but a 2,000-member force was later called to protect the 126-acre Capitol Grounds. No other arms of the US federal government arrived for hours despite rioters entering the building. The rioters could be seen on camera roaming through the halls, swinging on balconies, and sitting in the chair of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

 

Lawmakers inside the building were unhappy with the lack of preparation from the Capitol Police, and former Capitol Police Chief Terry Gainer said he had to, ‘truly suspend his disbelief.’ He thought it would be near impossible to breach the Capitol, and a ‘deep dive into what went wrong,’ was needed.

 

Just hours after this ‘siege’ Congress certified Biden’s win. Two objections to the final tally were rejected, confirming the electoral college votes to 306 of Biden and 232 for Trump. Immediately after this the White House released a statement from Trump in which he promised an ‘orderly transition’ when Biden enters office on 20th January. The outcome in truth was never in doubt. NO evidence of election fraud has been found, despite Trumps persistence on the matter.

 

All this news comes as the Democrats become the favourites the in race for the final seat in Congress. 98% of the votes have been counted, with the remaining ones coming from suburbs in Atlanta, a Democratic area. Victory for the Democrats would create a 50/50 split in Congress, giving in the sitting president’s party control if all senators vote on party lines.

It is this that has caused the biggest change in the stock market. Taxes and regulations are more likely to rise, but more money will be printed and there will be a lot more support for US citizens, so it favours the domestic economy. The rise in US stocks is mainly due to hopes of increases stimulus from Biden, but this means a falling dollar and a fall for equities. The Market is currently optimistic, despite the scenes at the Capitol building yesterday.

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