Thursday marks the anniversary of the riot at the U.S. Capitol – a day that President Biden has called “one of the darkest days in our democracy.”
On January 6, 2021, a group of former president Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the capitol building just as a joint session of congress had convened to certify then president-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college victory.
Earlier in the day, Trump urged his supporters to march on the capitol and told them to quote “fight like hell.”
The mob overran police barricades and smashed windows to force its way into the building.
A year later, more than 725 people have been arrested for their roles in the attack, including more than 75 people who have been charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon against officers, according to the U.S. Dept. Of Justice.
As the mob was moving through the capitol, Chicago Congressman Mike Quigley was trapped in the gallery overlooking the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“We in the gallery were trapped. We didn’t know, but we were surrounded. And we were stuck there for quite a while,” he said. “I was figuring out how to throw somebody off – the seats up in the gallery are like theatre seats. They’re steel. Alright, how do you make a weapon out of nothing? Seems odd that you’d think about that, but what else can you do?”
Chicago Congressman Chuy Garcia was locked in his office for five hours in the Longworth building.
“That was a scary sight to behold,” he said. “I was also angry to see the defiling of these sacred spaces of our democracy. The capitol building is the most iconic building in Washington DC, perhaps in the world. It has come to symbolize democracy and freedom and the inclusion of everything that is America. It was a very sad day.”
WGN’s Mike Lowe has more.
A Look Back at January 6th