Chennai: Protesters supporting outgoing US President Donald Trump, swarmed the Capitol on Wednesday, putting it on lockdown, as Vice President Mike Pence rebuffed the president’s demand to overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden and the Senate’s Republican leader denounced a bid in Congress to undo the election outcome.
Reports said, Trump supporters overturned barricades and clashed with police on the US Capitol grounds and streamed inside the building. The demonstrations flared as lawmakers met inside to formally certify Biden’s victory over Trump in the 3 November election.
Law enforcement authorities struggled to maintain order and National Guard troops were deployed.
President-elect Joe Biden called the proceedings as ‘chaos’ and ‘disorder’.
In his speech, he said, “The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect the 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. I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward.”
As protesters fought through police barricades, stormed the building and entered lawmakers’ chambers, the certification process was stopped and Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress were evacuated.
One civilian is suspected to have shot dead, Washington police said.
As night fell, a Capitol official said the building had been cleared, but outside some way from the grounds, scores of protesters remained, including members of militia and far-right groups.
Meanwhile, Twitter took strong notice to the incident, and threatened to permanently ban Trump from the platform for flouting its civic integrity rules, ordering him to remove three rule-breaking tweets.
The messaging platform locked Trump for 12 hours and said his account will remain locked if the offending messaging are not taken down, according to the Twitter safety team.
As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington DC, we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy, Twitter said in a post.