Insurrection at the Nation’s Capitol: EvCC Reacts

Students and staff weigh in on the January 6th chaos at the Capitol.


Photo by Martin Falbisoner on Wikimedia Commons

The United States Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

On Jan. 6, 2021, a mob of insurrectionists stormed the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., during the Save America March, sponsored by Women for America First. The failed attempt was an effort to prevent Congress from certifying the Electoral College votes which would confirm President-elect Biden’s win. 

Congress was ordered to shelter in place as the Secret Service took Vice President Pence to a secure location as rioters despoiled offices tucked away in the Capitol Building’s executive wing.

Many of the vandals wore shirts and tattoos or carried iconography of Q-Anon and white supremacy movements. A gallows was erected on the lawn. Some insurgents had zip cuffs and firearms while demanding to know where congress members were located amongst chants of “Hang Mike Pence.”

Eighteen law agencies sent forces to quell the violence. By 8:00 p.m. EST, police secured the area and Congress resumed their session. 

At 3:00 a.m. EST, Congress confirmed President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris won the Electoral College and will rightfully take office on Jan. 20, 2021.

From Rally to Terrorism

There are many claims that President Trump made veiled statements that spurred the violent events, such as his Twitter post stating, “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild.” Some media organizations labeled the president’s actions as stochastic terrorism.

Dec. 19 tweet promoting the D.C. protest on Jan. 6, 2021. (Rick Sinnett)

Also cited as stoking violence was Rudy Guiliani, who at the rally stated, “If we are wrong, we will be made fools of, but if we’re right, a lot of them will go to jail. So let’s have [a] trial by combat.” 

The same rally where President Trump said, “You will never take back our country with weakness.”
Posts on social media by Trump supporters leading up to the scheduled event alluded to maliciousness on the 6th, as seen in social media posts on TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and Parler.

The Aftermath

When the tear gas and crowds cleared, five were left dead, and 83 arrested. The first known casualty was 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt, who was shot in the neck by a U.S. Capitol police officer as she attempted to break into the building. Other reported deaths would follow.

Brian Sicknick, a 42-year-old U.S. Capitol police officer, died after succumbing to injuries sustained from being struck in the head with a fire extinguisher. 

Investigations and Fallout

U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI are working to identify invaders at the Capitol Building and how they

Capitol Hill demonstrator wears a MAGA Civil War shirt in the styling of the Marvel movie, Captain America: Civil War with the date, January 6. 2021. (Screenshot from Facebook by Francisco Mondragon.)

entered the secure area.

By Jan. 8, 13 had been charged in Superior Court for crimes ranging from knowingly entering a restricted building to possessing unregistered firearms and explosive devices.

Democrats and Republicans have requested President Donald Trump’s resignation and discussed invoking the 14th or 25th amendment to remove the president from office.

Fact Check

With the hopes of a peaceful transition of power shattered like the glass of the Capitol Building’s windows, the overwhelming response from many is confusion.

Dr. Steven Horn of EvCC’s Political Science department clarifies some of the questions circling social media after the shocking historical event. 

“[Trump’s] conspiracy claims about electoral fraud in Georgia were debunked point-by-point in a press conference by the state’s top election official the very next day. This will, of course, not change the minds of those who gathered and participated in Wednesday’s insurrection at the Capitol. Those people have been lied to, and they have imbibed those lies completely”. 

When asked about the challenge to the Electoral College, Horn states, “…the attempt by Republicans to compare their objections Wednesday to objections Democrats voiced after the 2000, 2004 and 2016 elections were examples of gross false equivalence.”

“The Democrats’ objections had been based on well-documented Republican voter suppression efforts that disfranchised millions of voters in each of those elections, and others, including 2020. The ‘patriots’ gathered in Washington on Wednesday seem not to care about those real voting rights injustices and instead choose to believe in completely false and self-serving conspiracy theories propagated by Trump. The charge of voter fraud, in particular, is a completely made-up issue, statistically nonexistent according to serious research on the question.” 

EvCC Student Reactions

Celeste Tregar, a 23-year-old Elementary Education major, stated, “We knew this would happen, but almost nothing was done to stop it….[Trump] never wanted to ‘make America great again,’ he always wanted to destroy America. He incited this and has been for years.”

Elizabeth Tucker stated, “I feel that the way the police responded was not equal to the way they have responded earlier this year in regards to the protest for George Floyd. I feel that this is still being investigated and that I cannot pass a decision until I give our governing bodies time to respond.”

Gabriela Alvarado stated, “I feel like Trump has completely made the U.S a place where people do not want to unite. I hated how the police acted way different from the people invading the Capitol building than with the protestors of BLM. The BLM protestors were peacefully protesting until police started mistreating them.”

Scott Davis, a 46-year-old information technology student, stated, “I think the Trump administration purposely opened holes in the security to allow this to happen. Even if that is true, it is very embarrassing for America that armed agitators were treated so softly compared to peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters, which was the first thing I noticed when I saw the events live on TV.”

For some, decades of American status quo has left them indifferent to the events of the 6th.

Hannah Newby, a 17-year-old Art & Sciences major, stated, “I do not inherently support it or condemn it; my feelings are mixed. On the one hand, I don’t have a preference on what happens to our government, but in no way do I condone acts of violence as a feasible solution.”

The country holds its collective breath, hoping for a peaceful inauguration and a return to stability.