SOURCES: CNN and BBC
US President-Elect Joe Biden has described the riots that erupted at the US Capitol building earlier today as an “assault” on democracy.
“At this hour, our democracy’s under unprecedented assault. Unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times. An assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself. An assault on the people’s representatives and the Capitol Hill police, sworn to protect them. And the public servants who work at the heart of our Republic… Let me be very clear. The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America. Do not represent who we are. What we’re seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent. It’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition. And it must end now,” Biden said.
The President-elect said he is “shocked and saddened” that the country has come to “such a dark moment,” but added that like other moments in history, America will prevail.
“Through war and strife, America’s endured much. And we will endure here and we will prevail again and we’ll prevail now,” Biden said.
“Today’s reminder, a painful one, that democracy is fragile and to preserve it requires people of good will,” he said.
A woman is in critical condition after being shot in the chest on the Capitol grounds, according to two sources familiar with the matter. However, the sources could not provide further details on the circumstances of the shooting.
President Trump has called on protesters to return home, and to obey the rule of law, even as he stated once more that the election was stolen from him and that Republicans won by a landslide.
Meanwhile, a source close to the White House who is in touch with some of the rioters at the Capitol said it’s the goal of those involved to stay inside the Capitol through the night. It’s a potential disruption that would further delay the constitutional process that was interrupted by the violence on the Hill.
Protesters swarmed the Capitol building and forced a lockdown, halting debate in the House and Senate. Congress was meeting to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college victory. Some Republicans are trying to overturn the results in some states but lack sufficient support. However, Vice-President Mike Pence says he will not block the certification of Biden as president-elect, despite demands from Trump.
Chants of ‘We Want Trump’ echoed through the hallways as press and lawmakers were taken to an undisclosed location. The National Guard was called to provide additional security amid calls for protests to remain peaceful.
The riots came after Trump addressed thousands of supporters in Washington DC and said ‘we will never concede’. He made the declaration as his party appeared to be losing their grip on the Senate as Democrats remain ahead in Georgia’s second runoff race.
As the first black Senator from Georgia, Democrat Raphael Warnock’s win is historic, but Democrats still need to win the second race. If they do, they will control the US Senate, and it will be easier for President-elect Biden to enact his agenda.
Democrat Jon Ossoff has claimed victory over Republican David Perdue in Georgia, but it’s still too close to call.