The United States Capitol has been placed under lockdown as thousands of Donald Trump supporters have been clashing with police.
The president’s supporters stormed Capitol Hill today (January 6) to protest the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory in Congress, which resulted in the complex being locked down and nearby office buildings having to be evacuated.
According to Fox News, a number of protesters breached security and got inside the building while others clashed with police outside. Eyewitness video captured police repelling the attackers with batons, pepper spray, and tear gas.
Elijah Schaffer, a reporter for The Blaze, tweeted: “Trump supporters have breached the Capitol building, tearing down 4 layers of security fencing and are attempting to occupy the building – fighting federal police who are overrun This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Thousands, police can’t stop them.”
BREAKING: Trump supporters have breached the Capitol building, tearing down 4 layers of security fencing and are attempting to occupy the building — fighting federal police who are overrun
This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Thousands, police can’t stop them pic.twitter.com/VVdTUwV5YN
— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ElijahSchaffer) January 6, 2021
Staff working in the Cannon House Office Building and Madison Building, which houses the Library of Congress, were told to evacuate due to the protests.
Politico‘s Olivia Beavers reports that police in the Cannon House Building were “going door to door yelling at people to evacuate” because of a suspicious package found in the 300 Block of First Street SE.
HERE is why:
Capitol police are investigating a Suspicious Package in the 300 Block of First Street SE.
“Staff and other personnel are directed to AVOID THIS AREA until further notice.” pic.twitter.com/gkTQQFiLjU
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) January 6, 2021
In the weeks leading up to today’s rally, officials in Washington had taken steps to curb any potential violence relating to the event.
According to Time, more than 300 National Guard troops had taken positions near the Capitol Building, although Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser asked they not be armed in an effort to avoid the escalation of confrontation.
See more footage and images from the Capitol Building protests below:
Trump supporters are trying to break past police lines at the Capitol building.pic.twitter.com/kzLo2vWyfq
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) January 6, 2021
Trump loyalists and police continue to clash, as thousands more are making their way to the Capitol building. Trump loyalists pepper-spraying and punching D.C. police. pic.twitter.com/qvJ2RKYcrU
— Anonymous (@YourAnonCentral) January 6, 2021
Police officers are holding them steps away from the Senate chamber, which is locked. Senators are inside. I see a few confederate flags. pic.twitter.com/YI7X7KmuUG
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2021
Whoa: Trump supporters going at it with the police on the steps of the Capitol as Congress counts the Electoral College ballots inside pic.twitter.com/LiQhaa5KkQ
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 6, 2021
Protesters have torn down a barrier. Fireworks going off outside the Capitol. People in a tower telling the crowd to press forward. “Move forward and we can beat them.” Throwing things are police. Crowd pushing up chanting USA. This is unreal pic.twitter.com/FDEQu9HyPX
— Andrew Egger (@EggerDC) January 6, 2021
Several people got on to a scaffolding outside Senate, took it to second floor, which looked like the area where McConnell’s office is located, and started banging on windows pic.twitter.com/IIZ21nkzFT
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2021
Pro-Trump protesters carrying flags march through the Capitol building, chanting “we want Trump,” forcing a lockdown with members of Congress inside. https://t.co/RXfJKeGG2K pic.twitter.com/Uk2Tt4fmC8
— ABC News (@ABC) January 6, 2021
View from inside the Capitol as people gather on the West Front. The Capitol is currently on lockdown. pic.twitter.com/XKNKWNbHxZ
— Caroline Brehman (@carolinebrehman) January 6, 2021
BREAKING: #Trump Supporters Break Glass windows at Capitol, trying to storm in.
Building on lockdown, session in recess and situation escalating: pic.twitter.com/3tVNntPNXv
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) January 6, 2021
Meanwhile, figures from across the world of entertainment have been sharing their reaction to the hotly contested US Senate runoff elections in Georgia, where the Democrats look set to clinch victory.
Two Senate seats are up for grabs in these special run-offs, with overall control of the chamber for the next two years within the Democrats’ reach if they manage to win both elections and split the Senate 50-50.
Incoming Vice President Kamala Harris would then have the casting vote in the Senate, enabling President-elect Joe Biden to push through his agenda when he enters the White House on January 20.
Democrat Raphael Warnock has unseated his Republican rival Kelly Loeffler in the Senate special runoff, while the general election runoff between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican David Perdue is tighter, although a number of media outlets have either put Ossoff in the lead or called the race in his favour.