Thousands of Trump supporters stormed through metal barricades around the back of the Capitol on Wednesday (Jan. 6) as even more gathered in the city to protest Congress’ upcoming certification of Joe Biden’s victory. Videos circulated on social media around 1 p.m. EST, showing a huge group of protesters pushing over the barricades and marching toward the Capitol Building.
According to The Washington Post, Capitol police ordered an evacuation of two Capitol buildings in anticipation of the crowd — the Library of Congress James Madison Memorial Building and the Cannon House Office Building. Police tried unsuccessfully to control the protesters, as they climbed and kicked aside the barricades, many of them also clashing violently with the officers.
The Post reports that some protesters tried to reach the steps of the Capitol Building and attempted to occupy to it, but were tackled by police. The crowd could be heard chanting, “USA! USA!” as more officers arrived to the scene.
Inside the building, Congress is holding a joint session to certify the Electoral College’s votes, which will formalize President-elect Biden’s win. Many Republican senators and House of Representatives members are expected to object to the certification, which could lead to hours of debate.
Earlier on Wednesday, Trump encouraged his supporters to join the D.C. protests and addressed his crowd of supporters from The Ellipse.
“We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved,” he said. “We won this election, and we won it by a landslide. This was not a close election.”
Trump further said he hopes Vice President Mike Pence will block the certification.
“I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so. I hope so, because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election,” he said. “All Vice President Pence has to do is re-certify, and we become president and you are the happiest people.”
See videos of Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol below.