Seattle area congressional leaders are reported safe and Washington D.C. is under curfew after a day of chaos and violence from supporters of Donald Trump seeking to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. Leaders have vowed to resume the proceedings — possibly as soon as Wednesday night.
“I am safe and sheltering in place,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal reported via Twitter. “I was one of a dozen Representatives in the gallery above the House floor. We pulled out gas masks and had to get down on the ground. Capitol police barricaded the doors and had guns drawn. We were eventually told that we had to quickly exit.”
The King County Democrats confirmed the safety of Jayapal, Rep. Adam Smith, Rep. Kim Schrier, and Rep Del Bene after a riotous mob stormed the US Capitol and brought proceedings to a halt.
Sen. Maria Cantwell and Sen. Patty Murray have also been reported safe.
CNN reports one woman has died in the violence and that the Capitol has been secured as police and National Guard troops are being moved into place to secure the area and enforce a curfew in the city.
Earlier Trump fanned the flames in a video address in which the defeated incumbent told those gathered at the Capitol to “go home” even as he repeated his claims that the election had been “stolen” from him. Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube later removed the video from their platforms.
In Seattle, the message was spread by media including KIRO FM’s veteran talk show host Dori Monson who told listeners that the election results giving Biden victory were fraudulent and compared the storming of the Capitol to the formation this summer of the CHOP occupied protest zone here in Seattle.
In Olympia, meanwhile, a crowd of Trump supporters was reported at the governor’s mansion as law enforcement moved into place.
There have been no reports of organized protests or actions by Trump supporters planned in Seattle.
In June, Black Lives Matter protesters in Seattle gained worldwide attention when they formed an occupied protest and camp around Cal Anderson Park and the city’s East Precinct in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. That action involved city streets and a park as protesters attempted to also enter the evacuated precinct building but did not take over the structure. Earlier that month, protesters joined by Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant briefly occupied City Hall which was mostly empty at the time due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“The horrific demonstration of far right violence we’re seeing in DC today is a scary reminder that Trump may have lost the election, but Trumpism and the far right is growing,” Sawant said Wednesday. “Trump and his reactionary base is refusing to accept a democratic election result.”
Others, meanwhile, are contrasting the relative ease with which the Trump groups entered the Capitol with the armored police forces Black Lives Matter protesters faced in Seattle and across the country. Arrests have also so far been limited in D.C. with around 15 reported as of early evening.
The summer’s unrest, meanwhile, has continued here. Tuesday night, a few dozen protesters marched on Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and in other parts of the city following the decision in Kenosha, Wisconsin to not charge the officer who shot Jacob Blake. There were no reports of property damage or arrests. The protest continues months of unrest that has continued into 2021 with anti-police protesters targeting the walled East Precinct at 12th and Pine.
Electoral college ballots rescued from the Senate floor. If our capable floor staff hadn’t grabbed them, they would have been burned by the mob. pic.twitter.com/2JCauUIlvg
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) January 6, 2021
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