The Storm on the Capitol


Eleanor Goldey, Staff Writer

January 8th, Attacks on Federal Buildings

           The attacks on Brazil’s capital in Brasília are closely related to the January 6th, 2021 storm on the U.S. capitol. Supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro attacked Brazil’s Democracy. Midday Sunday January 8th, more than 4,000 people started marching to the center of Brazília. They were escorted by police cars who were not armed and not wearing riot gear and were marching peacefully towards the National Congress Building.

           At around 2:42 pm, disaster struck when the demonstrators broke through the line of police and stormed Nereu Ramos Palace, the Senate building. Legislative police who were also armed with riot gear attempted to stop the movement of people with a one-hour prearranged attack, but gave up after being overwhelmed by violence and tear gas clouds. The protesters swamped the Senate housing with water hoses. Using fire extinguishers, they smashed windows, ruined furniture, destroyed computers, and left offices in tatters.

Then, at 5:56 pm, President Lula declared a federal emergency and the police arrived at the scene to drive the protesters out. Lula blames former president Bolsonaro for riling up the protesters and causing the riots.

Along with leaving the citizens of Brazil flabbergasted and alarmed, many Harrison students also are shocked. 9th grader Laura Megda says, “I was definitely surprised that the Brazilian government had to investigate more. Many facts indicate that this was a setup made because of political interests of the Liberal party in order to blame the Workers party.” Speaking to some Harrison students, they were expressing that the effects of this event not only affected people in the area, but also impacted people in a completely different country.


January 6th, Storm on the Capitol

           On the 6th of January 2021, supporters of the president at the time, Republican Donald J. Trump stormed the U.S. capitol in Washington DC in support of Trump who had just lost the election to current president, Democrat Joe Biden. In several since deleted tweets, Trump motivated his supporters to rally and march on the capitol in response to the vote-counting ceremony. Shortly after 1:00 pm, a horde of former president Trump’s supporters stormed the capitol. The mob of supporters continuously grew larger as more people arrived from all over. Capitol Police officers along with the Metropolitan Police were feeling overwhelmed with the mass of protesters. Police were getting beaten with weapons such as bats, pipes, and flag poles, sprayed with dangerous chemicals, or trampled and crushed in the mob of rioters. 

At around 2:00 pm, the swarm of rioters broke through the last barrier on the west and east side of the Capitol and started closing in on the Congress housing. The rioters shattered windows to break in and spent the next few hours wrecking the interior as they searched for their enemies, who they deemed were their political opponents. The Capitol finally got rid of the mob at around 6 pm, a whole 4 hours after they had broken in. Most of the rioters weren’t arrested at the scene and simply just got up and walked away. Many were later identified, charged with crimes, found guilty, and currently serving their punishments.

During the first year after the attack, the FBI and Criminal Justice arrested around 725 riotters. “Each being charged with federal crimes such as injuring law enforcement officers, destruction and theft of government property, and conspiracy to obstruct congressional proceedings,” says Britannica Encyclopedia.


Strengthening Democracy 

In response to the January 6th storm on the capitol, the U.S. put forth a January 6th committee to investigate how and why the riots at the capitol happened. Similarly, Brazilian authorities are looking at evidence about why the attacks happened on their federal buildings. Current President Lula initiated a supreme court signing on the attack and taking legal measures. Both the January 6th committee and Brazil’s legal action on the attacks similarly gave a sense of protection in preventing this from happening in the future.