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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Riverside chapter.

As we await January twentieth for former Vice President, Joe Biden, to be sworn in as our President for the next 4 years, the aftermath and chaos of the election gained momentum as Trump supporters stormed the capital on January sixth. Trump supporters surrounded the Capitol building waving Confederate flags and Trump banners, first as a protest outside, inevitably as tensions and anger rose, they stormed the inside the building. They went to the Capitol to protest the results of this election and in hopes of gaining a truth of what happened with the votes, claiming that the election was rigged by Biden and that Trump lost unfairly. The rioters chose to storm the Capitol on this particular day as Congress was in the middle of a meeting, in an attempt to certify President-Elect Biden’s win. On the inside of Congress, senators had planned, before this event occurred, to object the count and delay Biden’s certification of his win.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
Contributing to the doubt of the voting process and his supporters, Trump made no official comment on the invasion of the Capitol, instead opting to tweet where he stated “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. [The] USA demands the truth!” Trump only fuelled his supporters to continue this breach in security and endangerment.

In this limelight of this occurrence, the National Guard was not called upon until many of the supporters had already begun to climb buildings and get inside. Even though the National Guard was deployed, the law enforcement did not do much to subdue the rioters, viral photos and videos of some law enforcement were shown to have helped and taken photos with Trump’s supporters. By the end of the day, most of the rioters remained near the building, even past the curfew that the mayor had set up.

But in the midst of this chaos, Vice President Mike Pence was the first to officially confirm Biden’s win, in opposition to President Trump, who had urged him to overturn the votes.

Vice President Mike Pence talking on stage
Photo by Gage Skidmore distributed under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license
My reaction

Initially, I was in utter shock, yet to totally contradict myself, I was not surprised that this event had occurred. I was in shock due to the fact that so many people could simply storm the capitol building as if no one was there to stop them; but I was not surprised that Trump’s supporters would do something like this, as their opposition to the results in the past were only a sliver of what we had seen on the sixth. It goes to show the amount of privilege that people can have and that it is very prevalent in our lives. By the end of the day and as more news outlets released information, only fifty-two people were arrested. It is scary to see that there were people who were able to get away with trashing and damaging the Capitol building. This has been one of the darker days in American history, as it goes to show the rallied support for Trump is a scary force. Very little was done to put a stop to them and this act of terrorism. This was not a peaceful protest: This was a domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol building that our very own US President did very little to stop and even encouraged to continue.

Crowd of protesters holding signs
Photo by Life Matters from Pexels
On an additional note, the reaction of the police force to this versus when BLM protests were occurring was vastly different. It goes to show institutional and systemic racism that POCs must endure when these white supremacists were able to get away with trashing the Capitol. We are only a few days into 2021, and I fear for the rest of this year and the next few years to come seeing that these people acted out because one person, Donald Trump, said so based on speculation.

Jade Zuniga

UC Riverside '24

I am a fourth-year Psychology major with an Organizational Behavior minor and Media and Cultural Studies minor, looking to improve my writing skills. I love listening to music, watching movies, eating and trying different foods, and playing with my cats.