The US Capitol has been the scene of bombings, a presidential assassination attempt and countless demonstrations in its more than 200-year-old history.
For the first time on Wednesday, it was the site of an armed insurrection incited by the sitting president.
The building is relatively accessible to the public. It houses the country’s two legislative bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senate, but anyone can enter after a security screening in the visitor center.
Congressional offices are frequented by protesters and sit-ins. With a little bit of planning, people can interrupt a hearing, though they are often quickly ushered out by Capitol police.
These peaceful scenes are a stark contrast to what happened on Wednesday, when a mob of Donald Trump’s supporters stormed past barricades and clashed with police to enter legislative chambers and congressional offices. A woman was reportedly shot and killed, people working inside were evacuated in gas masks, and rioters clambered up the buildings walls inside and out.
Not since 1814 has the building been breached.
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Thursday, January 7, 2021
Amanda Holpuch at The Guardian: