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Washington, Jan. 8: DC National Guard troops stand watch at the U.S. Capitol after fencing was erected around it the day before.

John Moore/Getty Images

It was a day of violence that shocked the world, put the seat of American democracy in danger and renewed lawmakers’ efforts to get President Donald Trump out of office. Five people are dead after Jan. 6′s attack on the Capitol building by a pro-Trump mob, and law-enforcement agencies are trying to make sure that similar mayhem is avoided at Jan. 20′s inauguration of Joe Biden. Meanwhile, Mr. Trump’s incendiary instructions that the crowd should “fight like hell” for him are being treated as an impeachable offence by House Democrats; if they impeach him, he would be the first U.S. president to be so sanctioned twice. Here’s what you need to know about what happened.


What happened January 6, 2021: A timeline

Washington

N.Y.

Penn.

The White House

Washington, D.C.

PENNSYLVANIA AVE.

Va.

12:00 p.m.:

Trump rally

United States Capitol

RNC offices:

Explosive

devices found

1:00 p.m.:

Pro-Trump protesters

approach Capitol as

Congress gathers

2:15 p.m.:

Mob breaks

through

security

DNC offices:

Evacuated after

a suspicious

package found

Potomac

River

0

300

METRES

United States Capitol

Senate

chamber

House

chamber

Statuary

Hall

Rotunda

Protesters

arrive

john sopinski/THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TILEZEN;

OPENSTREETMAP CONTRIBUTORS; HIU; google maps;

graphic news

Washington

N.Y.

Penn.

The White House

Washington, D.C.

PENNSYLVANIA AVE.

Va.

12 p.m.:

Trump rally

United States Capitol

RNC offices:

Explosive

devices found

1 p.m.:

Pro-Trump protesters

approach Capitol as

Congress gathers

2:15 p.m.:

Mob breaks

through

security

DNC offices:

Evacuated after

a suspicious

package found

Potomac

River

0

300

METRES

United States Capitol

Senate

chamber

House

chamber

Statuary

Hall

Rotunda

Protesters

arrive

john sopinski/THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TILEZEN;

OPENSTREETMAP CONTRIBUTORS; HIU; google maps;

graphic news

Washington

N.Y.

Penn.

The White House

Washington, D.C.

PENNSYLVANIA AVE.

Va.

12 p.m.:

Trump rally

United States Capitol

RNC offices:

Explosive

devices found

1 p.m.:

Pro-Trump protesters

approach Capitol as

Congress gathers

2:15 p.m.:

Mob breaks

through

security

DNC offices:

Evacuated after

a suspicious

package found

Potomac

River

0

300

METRES

United States Capitol

Senate

chamber

House

chamber

Statuary

Hall

Rotunda

Protesters

arrive

john sopinski/THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TILEZEN; OPENSTREETMAP

CONTRIBUTORS; HIU; google maps; graphic news

Noon: Trump speaks at a ‘Save America’ rally

By law, Wednesday was the day the new House of Representatives and Senate had to convene to count the Electoral College votes from November’s general election and sort out any challenges to the outcome. Joe Biden won more than enough votes to be declared president-elect, but Mr. Trump has continued to claim, falsely, that widespread fraud was at work. Mr. Trump spoke to thousands of his supporters at a “Save America” rally in front of the White House where he vowed “we will never concede” and urged his Vice-President, Mike Pence, to derail the certification, which he had no power to do.

Vice-President Mike Pence presides over a joint session of Congress alongside Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Saul Loeb/Pool via AP

1 p.m.: Congress gathers

Minutes before the joint session began, Mr. Pence released a letter saying he would follow his strictly ceremonial role: “my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.” As per custom, he began to open the sealed envelopes from each state, read them aloud and present them to designated “tellers” from the House and Senate. The lawmakers managed to get to Arizona, one of six states Joe Biden won that Trump loyalists planned to contest, along with Georgia, Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

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Then the mob broke in.

2:15 p.m.: The pro-Trump mob breaks through

A mob of thousands surrounded the Capitol building before several dozen forced their way through police lines and barricades. They smashed windows and doors, ransacked legislators’ offices, took selfies in the Senate chamber and left graffiti messages like “murder the media” around the building.

Capitol police spirited lawmakers to safety elsewhere, while others barricaded themselves in their offices. But in the hours that followed, police generally did little to stop the mob, especially compared with past violent crackdowns on demonstrations by groups like Black Lives Matter. One woman, a 35-year-old QAnon conspiracy theorist named Ashli Babbitt, was shot and killed by Capitol police as she and others tried to get into the House chamber. Three other civilians – later identified as Kevin Greeson, 55, Benjamin Philips, 50, and Rosanne Boyland, 34 – died of what police said were medical emergencies. Officer Brian D. Sicknick was also badly injured and died in hospital a day later.

Watch: Videos posted to Twitter show a pro-Trump mob storming the Capitol. The Globe and Mail

4-5 p.m.: Biden calls for peace, Trump says ‘go home’

Mr. Biden gave a live address saying the mob’s attack was “not a protest, it’s an insurrection,” and demanded Mr. Trump get on national television immediately to calm things down. Mr. Trump reluctantly taped a video, posted to social-media platforms, in which he called for “peace” and told the rioters to “go home,” but he bracketed his request with further false claims of election fraud and told the insurrectionists: “We love you. You’re very special.” Facebook and Twitter removed the video after determining it did more to inflame the situation than to ease it.

President-elect Joe Biden said that President Donald Trump must "step up" and demand that his supporters end their "siege" of the U.S. Capitol building, after pro-Trump protesters refusing to accept his election loss swarmed the building on Wednesday, putting it on lockdown. Reuters

Overnight: Congress regroups

More than six hours after Congress was interrupted, the Capitol was clear of insurrectionists and lawmakers resumed their session. They rejected the challenge to Arizona’s Electoral College votes, but then Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri went ahead with a challenge to Pennsylvania’s. Mr. Hawley denounced the day’s insurrection but said the Senate should hear the objections “peacefully, without violence, without attacks, without bullets.” The Pennsylvania challenge was defeated 92-7.

The final Electoral College vote (306 for Mr. Biden, 232 for Mr. Trump) was approved just before dawn. Shortly after, Mr. Trump issued a statement through his social-media director – his own account had been locked by the social-media company – saying that “even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.”

What is a ‘coup,’ and was this one?

Wednesday’s events raised urgent questions for journalists and politicians alike about what to call the people storming the Capitol, and what they were doing. Many news outlets, including The Globe and Mail, switched to calling them a “mob” instead of protesters or demonstrators, and given that they were armed people in revolt against a democratic institution, “insurrection” has also entered common use. The Associated Press stopped short of calling it a coup d’état, disputing whether the mob’s specific and organized goal was to seize control of the government themselves. That objective, and not the use of armed violence specifically (there are, for instance, bloodless coups), is generally what is used to deem something as a coup.

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International reaction

The world watched events unfold in Washington with a mix of horror, déjà vu and amusement. China drew a comparison between the insurrections and last year’s pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, but noted that no one had died when demonstrators took over the legislature of the Chinese-ruled city. Russia’s deputy UN ambassador, Dmitry Polyanskiy, tweeted that “quite Maidan-style pictures are coming from DC,” a reference to 2014′s protests in Ukraine that toppled Russian-backed president Viktor Yanukovych.

Here are how some U.S. allies responded:

Canada

U.K.

India

European Union

Commentary and analysis

Editorial: Trump’s supporters stormed Washington because MAGA keeps losing

Andrew Coyne: The Trump train reaches its inevitable terminus: violent insurrection

Doug Saunders: On Wednesday the U.S. turned liberal, and Republicans got lost in the woods

Robyn Urback: An attempted insurrection offers one final humiliation to Trump’s enablers

David Shribman: Trump supporters engage in historic attacks on U.S. democracy on a day reserved to celebrate it

Ian Brown: Trump’s mob storms the Capitol, but achieves nothing


Compiled by Globe staff

With reports from Adrian Morrow, The Associated Press and Reuters


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