Thousands of demonstrators favorable to President Donald Trump invaded Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, confusing the session of Congress which was to confirm this Wednesday, January 6, the victory of Joe Biden in the presidential election of November 3. Here’s what we know about the pro-Trump coup in front of Capitol Hill.
“We will never concede defeat”
A few hours earlier, Donald Trump had announced that he would not would never admit defeat. “We will never give up. We will never concede ”, he launched before calling his supporters to protest against the certification of the results of the US presidential election.
On several occasions in his speech, the outgoing president also put pressure on Mike Pence who chaired the meeting, asking him not to ratify the victory of his opponent Joe Biden.
But despite Donald Trump’s injunctions, the vice president decided to honor his ceremonial obligations. In a letter published just before the opening of the meeting, Mike Pense let it be known that he would not oppose the certification of the victory of Joe Biden.
Pro-Trump supporters enter Capitol Hill
As soon as it started, the session was slowed down by Republican elected officials contesting Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona. Outside, the tension is just as palpable, in front of the Capitol, thousands of pro-Trump protesters massed in support of their president and the situation quickly got out of hand. After several partisans burst into the Capitol, Congress adjourned the meeting.
Police have ordered the evacuation of several US Congress buildings. Tear gas was used in the Capitol rotunda and elected officials were instructed to don gas masks, the images are surreal. According to several American media, a woman was shot in the shoulder. She was evacuated on a stretcher and is believed to be in critical condition. According to the head of the Capitol, two people were shot and wounded.
A curfew and soldiers of the National Guard
Faced with this turn of events, the mayor of Washington has declared a curfew from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. Thursday morning. Soldiers from the National Guard were on their way to Washington to retake the Capitol. This deployment of armed reinforcements was announced by the White House as well as by Ralph Northam, the Democratic governor of Virginia, a state next to the federal capital.
Donald Trump calls on his supporters to “go home”
Exceeded by the turn of events the elected president, Joe Biden, took the floor to ask Donald Trump to appeal for calm. In a very short speech, the angry and worried Democrat called out his opponent: “To go now on national television to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution by demanding the end of this siege”.
In a Tweet, the president addressed his supporters. While insisting that the election was stolen, he asks the rioters to return home. “We don’t want any injuries. It was a fraudulent election. You have seen how others treat us, how bad and evil they are, but come home in peace. “
Twitter suspend le compte de Trump
The outgoing president’s favorite social network has decided to suspend the @realDonaldTrump account for twelve hours and threatened it with permanent suspension, unprecedented measures decided in light of the violence of its supporters which prevented the certification of the results presidential election, Wednesday.
Several tweets from Donald Trump, who disputes the victory of Joe Biden, were no longer visible on the blue bird platform on Wednesday. Two written messages were taken down by Twitter, along with a video where the outgoing president called his supporters storming the Capitol in ” go back home “ but where he also declared that the election had been “Stolen”.
Other messages from the outgoing president are also accompanied by a warning.
Resumption of certification at Congress
Members of Congress have announced that they will resume the certification session for Joe Biden’s election on Wednesday evening. After evacuating supporters of Donald Trump, the police conducted several hours to check the premises, in case explosive devices were hidden.
“As soon as conditions allow, work will resume”, said the leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. “We have seen an assault on our democracy […] but this should not distract us from our responsibility to validate the election of Joe Biden ”, she wrote in a statement.
Many international reactions
The reactions were not long in coming and there were many calls to end the protests., including that of former Republican President George W. Bush. Several large American companies have thus summoned the president to “End the chaos”. In the world, political reactions are multiplying to the events that have hit Washington and American democracy more broadly.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, considered that “The violence against American institutions is a serious attack on democracy. I condemn them. The will and vote of the American people must be respected. “
On Twitter, Prime Minister Boris Johnson denounced shameful images. “The United States is a supporter of democracy around the world and it is now vital that there be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power. “
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg denounced “Shocking scenes”, and called for respect for the result of the presidential election won by Joe Biden.