Windows were smashed, offices ransacked, and a trail of destruction was left behind as thousands of supporters of outgoing US President Donald Trump's swarmed the Capitol Hill in Washington DC today. Shocking videos, shared widely on social media, shows a rampaging mob climbing on rafters, ripping down the country's flags and roaming the Senate chamber.
A video shared by a journalist on Twitter shows terrifying visuals of an angry mob huddled together, banging on the huge door, smashing the glass panes on it inside the Capitol, trying to enter the chamber. The video doesn't show if the crowd managed to get in.
Holy shit pic.twitter.com/dofEG2SmqP— Jim Newell (@jim_newell) January 6, 2021
Another horrifying video shows an unruly mob chant "USA" and breach walls of the Capitol. The police officials in the stunning visuals are seen in a losing battle as they struggle to control the charging crowd. Tear gas used on the protesters seemed to have little effect as they rushed in the building smashing glass panes on their way. The mob fought against the police, hurling poles, metal pipes and other debris as they barged in.
Loud chants of "stop the steal" echoed in the halls as the crowd barged in as lawmakers were counting Electoral College votes to certify President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President elect Kamala Harris' election victory.
Another video, shared by a CNN reporter, shows the ransacked office of a Senate parliamentarian. Papers and files are strewn across the floor and furniture was damaged in the video that has been retweeted thousands of times on Twitter.
The ransacked office of the Senate Parliamentarian: pic.twitter.com/E7PsSgoAEX— Ali Zaslav (@alizaslav) January 7, 2021
In a news report, a man is seen yelling at a reporter that it was the government's fault that they were there.
"The government did this to us. We were normal, good, law-abiding citizens. We want our country back. We are protesting for our freedom," the man shouts and walks way.
Wow, what a report. https://t.co/u2z4HBEMoG— Mark Olalde (@MarkOlalde) January 7, 2021
Armed with mobile cameras and Trump flags, the group grew in number soon as they stormed the premises. After breaching the building, visuals emerged of an armed standoff as politicians cowered behind their desks. Both the House and Senate and the entire Capitol were placed under a lockdown and lawmakers evacuated safely.
These videos of destruction and riot were viewed millions of times on social media.
Donald Trump even congratulated the mob. "We love you. You're very special," he said. After several hours of mayhem, Trump issued a short video on Twitter calling on people to "go home."
Black maintenance staff, who were likely forced to hide during insurrection, are cleaning up the mess of a white mob that hung a noose outside the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/YTIJuzDmnA— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) January 7, 2021
As the chaos subsided, a handful of maintenance staff were seen in videos cleaning the destruction left behind by thousands.