By McKenzie Ward
Jan. 6 truly felt like a movie as I watched as the Capitol Building was stormed for the first time since 1814 when British troops set fire to it and other government buildings during the War of 1812.
This time it wasn’t the British.
The threat to democracy was much closer to home.
Watching as over 2,000 individuals stormed the building, all I could think of is how could this be happening?
Why did President Donald Trump tell those who attacked a building that symbolizes democracy and freedom that he loves them?
Why was I not as shocked as I should have been?
When I visited D.C. in January of 2020, I was forced to pass through various security checkpoints and saw multiple U.S. Capitol Police officers before I even entered the building. I was even questioned by one of the officers about what I was doing when I was standing on the street next to the Capitol Building as I looked on my phone to see where my Uber was.
How did these people manage to storm it?
For days following the attacks, we were bombarded by photos of those who stormed the Capitol – extremist Trump supporters, members of Proud Boys, and others who should be considered domestic terrorists. As I was forced to see the faces of those who have no respect for our nation’s Constitution, I became angrier with our government.
What I find most repulsive about the attack on the Capitol is the number of individuals who encouraged this event to occur: U.S. Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mo Brooks, Lauren Boebert. And, even the former president, Donald Trump played a part to inspire the 2,000 individuals to storm the Capitol as they screamed “Hang Pence,” carrying zip ties in their hands, and hatred in their heart.
Boebert used her Twitter account to tweet live updates during the attack on Capitol Hill by tweeting that lawmakers were being moved to the House Chambers, and then she later tweeted that Speaker Nancy Pelosi was being removed from the chambers. Following the attack, she refused to allow Capitol Police to search her bag when it set off metal detectors according to the Boston Globe. She was soon let into the House Chambers.
Greene is a known QAnon supporter and has a history of allegedly calling for the executions of Democratic lawmakers and following the attacks, she conflated the Capitol insurrection with nonviolent Black Lives Matter protests from last summer, according to the Washington Post.
Brooks spent his time prior to the attacks pouring gasoline on the fiery hatred and anger held by those who stormed the Capitol by encouraging individuals to “fight for America,” and Rep. Paul Gosar promoted the Jan. 6 protest, according to an article from The New York Times.
And for months, Trump used his Twitter account to make false claims of election fraud, claimed that he had won the election, and encouraged his supporters to challenge the election results. Following the attack, he was impeached with only 10 Republicans Congressmen who had enough courage and integrity to stand up against Trump.
We must now hold faith in our Senate that they will hold Trump responsible for this attack. But we also need to be holding GOP members who encouraged it, attended it, or did not condemn the attack.
This insurrection and attack on our nation’s Capitol never should have happened and we need to hold those who encouraged and refused to condemn the actions of these terrorists responsible for the pain they have caused our country.
The selfish actions of those who refused to believe that Trump lost, resulted in the death of Air National Guard Veteran and U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who gave his life protecting lawmakers from barbaric rioters who beat him. It has been 30 days, and no one has been charged yet according to Forbes.
Where is his justice?
Officer Sicknick and his family deserve justice.
Our country deserves justice.
Our citizens deserve justice.
Every GOP member involved in this event needs to be held responsible and fired.