The Capitol Riot: How do students feel?

After the attempted insurrection at the United States capital on January 6, people on all sides of the political spectrum had strong feelings, some understanding and feeling with the rioters, and others enraged at how the day’s events unfolded.

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Amaia Garay and Karen Hernandez

After the attempted insurrection at the United States capital on January 6, people on all sides of the political spectrum had strong feelings, some understanding and feeling with the rioters, and others enraged at how the day’s events unfolded. The individuals who stormed the Capitol building were carrying Trump flags and expressing their anger with the outcome of the election, saying that the election was stolen from them and former President Donald Trump. 

Left-leaning politicians and voters alike expressed their outrage at the rioters, angered that the capital police did not stop them from breaching the building, and calling for the impeachment of Donald Trump for inciting violence. Meanwhile, far-right extremists and some republicans felt empathy with the frustration of the insurrectionists. 

Senior Bronson Lasley, a Republican voter, and supporter of the Trump administration shared his feelings about the insurrectionists and how law enforcement handled the situation. 

“I understand why they did it, just because this last election was a very close election… so I could see why there’s a lot of tension on the right side of the government,” said Lasley, “I believe it is people’s right to be able to show their position on something and protest because it’s in the Constitution. But I don’t think that the Capitol necessarily was the right place to do it.”

Lasley expressed that he believes it is an American citizen’s right to protest its government and laws when they deem it necessary, but the rioters who took to the Capitol streets and building should not have done it there. “That’s a place that signifies the United States and how everybody under one roof can work together and run the United States,” said Lasley. 

Many believe that the law enforcement officers on duty that day did not do their jobs to the fullest extent by not stopping the rioters from entering the building in the first place. 

“I totally disagree with how law enforcement handled the situation… I think that letting people just walk into our Capitol, not only is an embarrassment to our country among people looking [at it] all over the United States, but also through the eyes of other countries,” said Lasley. 

While Lasley believes that the Trump administration “did some amazing things” he did not wholeheartedly agree with the insurrectionists, showing just how divided the country and its political parties are. 

Many have questioned what the incident has caused and promoted in the country, leaving both Democratic and Republican voters fearful. During the attack, many violent acts occurred from the insurrectionists towards Capitol staff and Washington D.C. police. Law enforcement and the National Guard did not seem to be prepared for the events of the day, they were not able to control the chaotic people entering and destroying things. 

Junior Miranda Mohammed, a student activist for the Black Lives Matter movement, has discussed her feelings and people’s action towards the situation. 

“Finding out everything about the Capitol made me feel so enraged at the hypocrisy of everyone involved. The attackers and the people guarding the capital, in a way I feel like they feel entitled to since they saw all the riots that broke out for the Black Lives Matter movement” said Mohammed. 

Some people have discussed how those riots got out of control and were not promoting the right to protest, rather a hatred towards the government and election results. Those participating in last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests were standing up for what they believed in, speaking about justice and equality, while the January 6 events were focused on violence and anger. Both the summer protests and the January riot were handled differently within the two groups and by law enforcement.

“The guards should’ve been more assertive and authoritative. They genuinely were more lenient than they were in other circumstances, regardless of the fact that it was significantly more violent. This was not a protest at all to promote peace and justice, it was an act of terrorism” said Mohammed.

Even though citizens have different ideas for the upcoming presidential administration, what happened on January 6 was an act of domestic terrorism, no matter where someone lands on the political scale.