Jan. 6, 2021 is a date that will now hold a significant place in American history. It is the date when security at the United States Capitol was breeched, and protestors entered the capitol building, disrupting the democratic process of formally confirming the next president of the United States.
An election that had already been surrounded by turmoil and accusations of voter fraud and mismanagement as well as misrepresentation entered its final stages as both parts of Congress - the House and Senate - led by Vice President Mike Pence, prepared to vote on whether to certify the electoral college votes from each state that would declare Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States of America, an office he would assume on Jan. 20.
Crowds had gathered around the nation's capital in the days preceding as supporters of current president, Donald Trump, picketed and protested asking congressmen to challenge the results of states that Trump repeatedly claimed had widespread voter fraud.
Before the process could advance very far, members of the crowd entered the Capitol Building, forcing security to remove the vice president to an undisclosed location and to help members of Congress reach safety. The breach of the Capitol Building was the first since 1814 and resulted in what is now being reported as four deaths, multiple injuries, and three explosive devices being found.
While peaceful protesting is a right given to all Americans and protected by the United Sates Constitution, there has been much conversation and law-making surrounding riots in the past months.
“During the 2020 legislative session, the TN General Assembly took a strong stand against rioting and destruction of public monuments and property. Public assembly is a constitutional right,” Senator Paul Bailey (R), who represents the people of White and surrounding counties, said. “However, any and all violence is unacceptable whether in Nashville, Minneapolis, or Washington, D.C.”
State Representative Paul Sherrell (R) said that he didn’t have answers for the scenes that were witnessed yesterday as people across the nation, and the world, watched the events in Washington unfold.
“I don’t have a lot of answers,” Sherrell said. “I do feel that the ones who were there and were causing problems were probably some of the same people who have been causing problems at rallies and events around the country. They are getting paid to do what they have done. It wasn’t so much a group of Republicans or a group of Democrats. These weren’t people who were there to simply voice their opinions, but people who are being paid by someone, or some group, to cause problems and destroy us as a country, and unfortunately, it is working. They are destroying our country.”
After the Capitol Building was secured many hours later, members of the Congress, along with Vice President Mike Pence, went back to work, continuing into the night, as they certified the votes from each state and officially declared the 2020 Presidential Election for Democratic nominee, now officially the President-Elect, Joe Biden. After the long, tumultuous final two months of 2020 and despite many claims of voter fraud, President Donald Trump conceded the election and promised a smooth transfer or power on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20.