Green Hope Reacts: Storming of the US Capitol
A "coup" is taking place today at the US Capitol building in DC, generating mass controversy
January 6, 2021
Hundreds of violent pro-Trump protestors stormed the Capitol building this afternoon, halting Joe Biden’s electoral certification. The protests began after a series of tweets were made by President Donald Trump proclaiming that the election was a “fraud”, and that the “States want to correct their votes”, inciting his supporters to dispute the results of the election. Trump’s own attempts to halt Joe Biden’s ascent to the Presidency were thwarted by Vice President Mike Pence, who rejected Trump’s call to overturn Biden’s victory. As of 3 p.m EST, an armed standoff has been initiated between the protestors and Capitol police, and a curfew of 6pm EST has been set for all D.C. residents.
“My mom might not be allowed out of her office; she works close to D.C. but they’re shutting down the metro. My boyfriend’s mother works in D.C. super close to the Capitol and to a Proud Boys kinda holdout, and she was told to tell her employees to not go into the office,” Olivia Gyapong, a senior at Blake High School in Silver Spring, MD – just a few miles from the Capitol – told The Falcon. “Surrounding jurisdictions, like my county, have sent law enforcement to help.”
At Green Hope, the onset of the “attempted coup”, as some are calling it, has generated massive controversy.
“I thought Trump supporters were the ‘silent majority’, but [they] throw a fit over a fair election,” Arshia Haq ‘21 stated. “Facts over feelings right? They then call the Black Lives Matter organization a ‘cult’ for fighting for their rights, but then choose violence when it comes to a fair election. I guess the first stage of grief is denial.”
Sophomore Vicky Vu said, “I think that the storming of the capitol was a result of Trump encouraging his supporters at past rallies to commit this act of domestic terrorism. His rhetoric of how this election was a ‘fraud’ and that he actually ‘won by a landslide’ is a clear indicator that this event was directly his fault. No one can deny that this ultimately inspired his cultish supporters to act out and retaliate against the US government with the belief that the ‘government was corrupt, and that Trump’s win was ‘stolen’.”
Another Green Hope junior, who’s requested to remain anonymous, said “I think everything going on right now is a threat to democracy and the amount of the national guard in is just proof of white supremacy in this country compared to prior protests this summer that were over human rights. They [the mob] are thieves of democracy and it’s not okay.”
Agreement comes from those on the opposite side of the aisle, as well. Kira Walsh ‘21, who was openly a Trump supporter in the past, expressed frustration towards the protests: “It’s terrible and it should be condemned.”
Walsh was also a part of a 80 member student sample that voted an undisputed, 100% “no” when asked if the storming of the Capitol was justified. The seriousness of the situation, though, especially for Green Hope students much farther south of the DC-Maryland-VA (DMV) region, was regarded as subjective. Bryce Robinson ‘21 called the situation “f*cking hilarious….that’s my friend’s cousin leading the groups.”
The peaceful transition of power is the hallmark of our democracy. Today’s terrorism is not who we are. This attack on our country must be overcome. America is better than this. – RC
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) January 6, 2021
“I don’t think much will come out of it,” the senior elucidated. “I think that for the most part, it’s a message. A study showed that it would only take about 3.5% of the US population to overthrow the government assuming average fatalities in combat and assuming no bombs are used.”
When asked if the message was the “right” message, Bryce explained: “I don’t know. Powerful, yes. I think that there’s a lot of hate in the world right now and conservatives feel cheated. I think if they recount and find that there is nothing off or suspicious, most people will probably relax. But the issue is, I think that our system is corrupt. Like Thomas Jefferson said, ‘the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants… it is its natural manure.’”
Many students quickly juxtaposed the current protest’s events with those that occurred with the George Floyd and Black Lives Matters protests of early 2020, t00.
“….the fact that law enforcement treated these rioters much better than peaceful BLM protesters just a few months before. Where are the teargas and rubber bullets that were used during the BLM protests now? These domestic terrorists are not only violent, but very hypocritical. They carry back the blue flags, but then go and beat up the police. They carry a ‘don’t tread on me’ flag (libertarian, which is minimal government) but then riot to keep the current President in power. That to me is just very authoritarian,” Vu went on to explain.
Tweets referencing the double standard read, “We take to the streets peacefully demanding justice and equality. And are met with violence and death. White people just stormed the United States Capitol with guns and are met with nothing.”
Teagan Crawford ’21, agrees. “It’s literally insane how this is literally publicly acceptable and the BLM protests weren’t!”
“It’s ironic to see a movement running on ‘law and order’ and ‘blue lives matter’ fight with police to break into the U.S. Capitol Building. A movement who condemned protests for civil liberties now supporting violent mobs because they lost an election,” Sarah Masters, another senior at Green Hope said. “These protestors broke doors and windows and stole objects from the building while Congress was in session. Lawmakers like the vice president had to be evacuated. Although I am not a person of color, I can only imagine what it’s like for someone who is, who has to worry about being killed for peacefully protesting, now seeing law enforcement have such a different response for these individuals. Where’s the rubber bullets, tear gas, riot gear, beatings, and shots that Black Lives Matter protestors were met with? I think that if any other group of people sieged our capital, or even conspired about doing so, there would be an extremely different response. There could be no clearer display of white privilege.”
Charlie Pierce ’21 disagreed; “I don’t [think that the protests are justified], but neither was the BLM riots.”
Haq, however, remains hopeful that change to current institutional systems will occur as January 20th, the date of President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration will be, approaches.
“I don’t expect progress from those type of people [the protestors], but I’m excited for the future to see America steer in the right direction,” she concluded.
This article will continuously be updated as events unfold throughout the night. Stay tuned!
Update at 7:36, 1/6/21: According to officials, the capitol building has now been secured.