The riot that engulfed the Capitol building in Washington, DC on January 6th was a travesty by anyone’s counting. While our nation was born out of violent rebellion; we are supposed to have grown beyond that point. Our system of government provides a means for our grievances to be addressed, which includes the right to peaceful protest. That’s not the same as riots.
Nevertheless, there are those on the left who have stated that protest without violence is ineffective and that there is nothing in the Constitution which says that protests have to be non-violent. Of course, they were saying that in support of the violence associated with the Black Lives Matter protests, which is somehow different. Now that it is radicals on the right who are involved in the violent protests, it appears that they have changed their mind.
While there have been many who have condemned this riot, none have stepped forward yet in support of the rioters. This makes them considerably different than the riots that rocked the nation for much of the last year, following the death of George Floyd. Many Democrat lawmakers, state officials and even mayors came forth in the wake of those riots, announcing their support of the protesters and the violence they perpetrated.
Another major difference is that there was little destruction during the capitol riot. While it appears that a few of the rioters walked away with souvenirs, most notably Nancy Pelosi’s lectern, there wasn’t the wonton destruction or looting that we’ve become accustomed to seeing.
Sadly, there were a large number of people, especially law enforcement officers, who were injured in the line of duty and a total of five people who have been killed, including one police officer who was seriously injured and later died of his injuries and an Air Force veteran who was one of those who entered the capitol.
There has been unending speculation about the rioting, specifically who participated in it. A number of different people and websites have accused ANTIFA of having a part in it, being the instigators who turned a peaceful demonstration into a violent riot which has left several people dead. The evidence they are using to make these claims is rather thin, focusing on appearances more than anything.
However, as of this point, the Department of Justice has stated that they have not arrested any ANTIFA members for participation in the event, even though there have been more than 50 arrests. Law enforcement officers are still investigating and have asked for help in identifying participants which were caught on surveillance footage.
Perhaps the biggest questions at this time are related to video which has surfaced, showing the police moving the barriers and allowing some protesters access to the building. This seems in stark contrast to other video that has been shown and needs to be explained. If people were allowed into the building, why were they allowed and who made that decision?
Another video supposedly shows demonstrators walking through the building, like tourists, with their cameras out taking pictures or video. What sort of demonstration is that? They looked more like tourists than demonstrators.
It is clear that an investigation needs to be conducted, looking at more than just who was involved in entering the capitol building. This situation needs to be explained, and actions need to be taken to prevent another such incident from occurring.