So, the big international news this week was about what happened in the United States.
Here’s what took place
On the afternoon of 6th, thousands of Trump supporters broke through police barriers and stormed into the US Capitol building to protest against, what they say, was an unfair election.
Trump has been going on and on about how the recently held US elections (in which he lost, and Joe Biden won) were not fair and that the Democrats (Biden’s party) had cheated. He had nothing to prove these claims but had been pressuring other Senators to support him. A senator someone who is elected by people to represent them in a state – basically one who works in the government. Each state in the US elects two senators who serve six-year terms in Washington, DC, where they pass laws and vote on policies.
Trump also said all this on social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc) and kept telling his followers how the Democrats had “stolen the election”. A lot of his supporters believed him and got all riled up – a result of Trump’s comments. The supporters decided to get together and show their disapproval.
There was a “Save America March” in the first half of that day when Trump kept saying that the election was dishonest. He said – “we are going to walk down, and I’ll be there with you, we’re going to walk down to the Capitol….you have to show strength and you have to be strong. We have got to demand the Congress to do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated.
Few days before the march he had said things like – “big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
Where did they break in?
There’s this building in the city of Washington D.C called The United States Capitol, commonly referred to as the Capitol Building. This is the meeting place of the United States Congress (where the people in government sit; it consists of what’s called the lower house and the upper house).
On the 6th there was a joint session of the US Congress being held here. This is a meeting where the members of the two chambers (lower and upper house) get together to discuss important issues.
It can be held on any special occasion. One of the times when a joint session is required to be held is when a new president is elected, and the senators gather to count and certify the votes – basically making sure everything was ok with the counting of the votes. This is basically when the new president is formally announced as final.
Trump’s supporters forcibly broke into the Capitol building when this was going on and tried to stop it. They were carrying baseball bats and shouting “Stop the Steal”.
A lot of violence followed, as the crowd broke windows and climbed walls to get in. The legislators had to hide under their desks before they were taken to safety by the security personnel. The people went on a rampage inside – carrying flags and destroying things. Some unused, small bombs were also found later.
Protestors ran around and sat in the offices of the Congress and the Senate chambers. Four people died in the violence.
What happened next?
As the people were breaking in, Trump kept making remarks on social media that made the situation worse and provoked people further. After this, social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook decided to lock him out of his account for a while (he has now been banned permanently from these platforms). It took a long time to take control of the Capitol building, but by 6 pm the authorities had the situation under control.
Leaders from all over the world expressed concern over this attack on democracy.
Congress has confirmed that Joe Biden fairly and legally won the election. Trump has been banned from almost all social media platforms and there are talks of taking action against him for playing a part in making the violence happen. Some people also want him impeached (again – read here what impeachment means).
Social media platform Twitter has said that some of its users are talking about a second attack on U.S. Capitol on Jan. 17
Joe Biden is going to be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on the 20th of January and Trump has said he would not be attending the event. He has also lost access to all the platforms from where he once spread messages. However, his supporters will probably still be able to get online to discuss what to do next.
Let’s wait and see what happens