As Confederate flags and Trump 2020 banners fly outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC, pro-Trump protestors are entering the building by force. Videos taken at the scene show cops fleeing from demonstrators with fire extinguishers; others appear to simply be taking a self-guided tour of the building, wandering aimlessly through the halls. Windows have been smashed and both chambers of Congress are currently on lockdown, yet police appear to simply be retreating. Compare this to the brutality and violence suffered by progressive and revolutionary demonstrators in D.C. last year, including the violent clearing of Lafayette Square with tear gas and batons so that Donald Trump could stage a photo op at a church. Today, the Capitol Police idly stood by for hours as protestors overran the city. Sources on the ground report that protestors have torn down police barriers, but the National Guard and DHS are nowhere in sight. The Capitol Police are reporting shots fired– CNN reports that one woman is in critical condition after being shot on the Capitol grounds. It is unclear at this time whether they have been fired inside or outside.
Protestors have also entered the state capitol building in Kansas, though that protest appears to have remained mostly peaceful.
These demonstrations are reactionary in the broadest sense of the word: It is a reaction to the election of neoliberal Joseph Biden to the White House. The slogan touted by these demonstrators is “Stop the Steal”, a delusion produced by Trump’s repeated, unfounded assertions that the election was stolen from him, that has mobilized violent reactionaries of all sorts and brought them to D.C. We should keep in mind that reactionaries in the US are never held to the same standards as left-wing activists– they have the open support of the US law enforcement apparatus (the Oath Keepers, for example, are almost exclusively comprised of former/current police and military). Previously we have seen fascists in the military seizing weapons from military bases and putting them in the hands of fascist terrorist organizations, as Kathleen Belew describes in her book “Bringing the War Home”. And the Trump death-cult has many friends in Congress. Louis Gohmert, a Texas congressman, has openly called for violence in response to the election; several of his colleagues have done the same.
The class character of this demonstration is overwhelmingly petit-bourgeois, similar to the nationwide “Reopen” protests last year. These are business owners, landlords, reactionary professionals and others who have time on a weekday to muck around the U.S. Capitol. Many of these protestors come wearing expensive tactical gear (oftentimes incorrectly– note empty body armor plate carriers). While the colonizer working class often displays reactionary sentiment, they by and large are not represented in these “Reopen” and “Stop the Steal” demonstrations: most of them do not care about elections.
The task of the Communist movement is to organize the people for revolution and to conduct community defense against the masses of colonizer reactionaries storming the streets. We are not concerned with the continued wellbeing of Congress, but we must also recognize and cut down nascent fascism as it rears its ugly head. These protestors call themselves “patriots”, and in a way they are correct. They share the same class interests as the slaveowners and wealthy merchants who founded this country. They will bathe in the people’s blood in order to secure white power and the reign of Capital, and it is we Communists who must build bastions of solidarity among the masses to ultimately stop them. We express solidarity with all progressive and revolutionary individuals who are on the streets today fighting these fascists and open our site to their analysis, criticism, reportbacks and news.
We should not delude ourselves: we face a brutal, deadly and dangerous enemy in both the forces of the imperialist State and in popular bourgeois fascism. Many comrades, such as Heather Heyer and Michael Reinohl, have already been martyred by these enemies. We must continue to study revolution and sharpen our theory and practice as situations continue to develop and they become more and more desperate.
PVN will provide updates as the situation develops.
UPDATE 1:40 PM MST: The White House has announced that the National Guard is being sent to D.C., after the mayor there requested their deployment.
UPDATE 2:15 PM MST: Video released on TikTok shows Police letting crowds of protestors onto the Capitol grounds.
UPDATE 2:30 PM MST: Similar demonstrations being held at state capitols across the country: government officials in Kansas, Georgia, Arizona, Utah and California have all been evacuated from their respective buildings. Some protesters seen toting rifles.
UPDATE 2:50 PM MST: Trump releases statement telling protestors “we love you, you’re very special,” claims that the election was fraudulent again. Warns protestors against violence saying “we can’t into the hands of these people…” clearly dogwhistling at far-right conspiracy theories, white supremacy with talk of “those very bad evil people”.
UPDATE 3:50 PM MST: Reuters reports that police have now cleared the Capitol of protesters; curfew in D.C. to take effect at 6 PM. Some Trump supporters suggesting that they may move to the city’s Town Hall.
UPDATE 5:09 PM CST: Brawl reported at Black Lives Matter Plaza. Around two dozen antifascists and Trump supporters clashed until police came and disrupted the brawl. No arrests reported.
UPDATE 5:10 PM CST: Individual shot inside Capitol building has died.
UPDATE 7:38 PM CST: New poll shows 45% of Republicans support storming of Capitol: https://twitter.com/IAmKrishanPatel/status/1346983787872153602?s=20