Washington, US | THE INDEPENDENT & XINHUA | A plan by supporters of US President Donald Trump to take control of the Capitol building has left one dead, and a curfew declared to help halt what many have referred to as a ‘coup attempt’.
The U.S. Congress had convened in a joint session earlier in the day to certify Biden’s victory, but both the House and the Senate, which were separately debating an objection to the counting of Arizona’s electoral votes, had to recess and evacuate after protesters, cheered on by Trump, breached the Capitol.
The United States Capitol, often called the Capitol Building, is the meeting place of the United States Congress and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located on Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Confrontations between law enforcement officers and protesters have caused injuries from both sides. A woman who was shot on the Capitol grounds has died, according to police. Tear gas dominated the building as police struggled to regain control.
They’re in the chamber. One is up on the dais yelling “Trump won that election!” This is insane pic.twitter.com/p6CXhBDSFT
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2021
So the new presiding officer of the US Senate is….guy with bull costume and white power tattoos. pic.twitter.com/RJ1DRm1LEH
— Respectable Lawyer (@RespectableLaw) January 6, 2021
Law enforcement officers point their guns at a door in the House Chamber after pro-Trump protesters breached the U.S. Capitol. The process for counting Electoral College votes has been suspended. DC mayor orders curfew effective 6 p.m. pic.twitter.com/PtilMIy8Eg
— Ben Kennedy (@BenKennedyTV) January 6, 2021
The Sergeant-at-Arms announced Wednesday evening that the U.S. Capitol building is secure, as a citywide curfew for the District of Columbia has taken effect and will continue until Thursday morning. Meanwhile, riot police are pushing protesters away from the Capitol Hill.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the congressional top Democrat, said in a letter to lawmakers that Congress will resume the counting of electoral votes Wednesday night once the Capitol is cleared for use.
Biden condemns ‘insurrection’
After police took charge of the situation, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden condemned what he called “insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol after some supporters of the Republican incumbent, Donald Trump, broke into the building, forcing electoral vote counting to halt.
“This is not protest, it’s insurrection,” Biden said in Wilmington, Delaware. “This is not dissent. It’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition.”
He added that, “Let me be very clear: the scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not represent who we are. What we are seeing is a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent, it’s disorder. It borders on sedition, and it must end. Now.”
The Democrat went on saying that he’s calling on Trump to “go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.”
Trump has refused to acknowledge defeat in the 2020 presidential race with Biden and has been pushing claims of a “fraudulent” election, which have been dismissed by U.S. courts at different levels due to a profound lack of evidence.
In a video clip posted on Twitter in the wake of the chaotic situation, Trump urged his supporters to “go home” after demonstrations.
“You have to go home now. We have to have peace,” the president said. “We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt.”
The U.S. Congress convened in a joint session earlier in the day to certify Biden’s victory, but both the House and the Senate, which were separately debating an objection to the counting of Arizona’s electoral votes, had to recess and evacuate after protesters breached the Capitol.
World leaders shocked
Tweets from world leaders:
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the violence against the American institutions is a grave attack on democracy
The violent acts against American institutions are a grave attack against democracy. I condemn them. The American people’s will and vote must be respected
— Jean-Yves Le Drian (@JY_LeDrian) January 6, 2021
The Speaker of Parliament of Turkey asked the US to set a better example
We follow the events in the USA with concern and invite the parties to calmness. We believe that problems will always be solved within law and democracy. As Turkey, we have always been in favor of the law and democracy and we recommend it to everyone.
— Prof. Dr. Mustafa Şentop (@MustafaSentop) January 6, 2021
From the Netherlands
— Mark Rutte (@MinPres) January 6, 2021
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the scenes in the U.S. Congress as a disgraceful.
Disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress. The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 6, 2021