The victory of President-elect Joseph Biden is now confirmed in the United States, but not before a mob of angry opposition activists swarmed Washington D.C. and overran the country’s legislative seat at the U.S. Capitol building.
The supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump, encouraged by statements from their leader, entered the chambers where the final vote tallies were being presented and shut down the proceedings before vandalizing property that included the office of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who serves as Speaker of the House.
At least one person died from gunshot wounds while three others experienced fatal medical emergencies, according to police. At least two pipe bombs were removed from targets in Washington while dozens of people were arrested.
The events, including the evacuation of lawmakers trying to confirm Biden’s victory, were unprecedented in modern U.S. history and left many Americans stunned – indeed, many observers around the world.
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said she placed the city under a public emergency order for the next 15 days “so that we can continue to ensure peace and security through the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
“Today may be a dark day for our democracy,” Bowser added. “But there is hope and change coming.”
Once order was reestablished and the election confirmation resumed, most Republican legislators who had been loyal to Trump changed their public stance while condemning the mob’s threat to cherished ideals of American democracy.
“It is over,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of Trump’s staunchest supporters. “I’ve traveled the world with Joe. I hoped he’d lose. I prayed he would lose. He won. He is the legitimate president of the United States.”
Image: Biden campaign file