“They’ve killed us for less!’: Black activists slam the disparity between responses to BLM demonstrators and pro-Trump rioters who breached US Capitol

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As Trump supporters ransacked the US Capitol many on social media condemned the apparent unequal response between the rioters in Washington, DC Wednesday and demonstrators at recent anti-racism protests.

Last year anti-racism protests ignited the country after the deaths and shootings of Black Americans at the hands of police including  George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake, Marcellis Stinnette, and Casey Goodson. Protesters were often met with a large police presence, facing armored vehicles, rubber bullets, and teargas. 

dc tear gas protest

But on Wednesday afternoon, when rioters, participating in a “March for Trump” rally before Congress gathered to certify the 2020 election results, stormed into the US Capitol building forcing employees, media, and lawmakers to shelter in place and evacuate, many criticized how this breach could happen in the first place. 

Former Washington DC Police Chief Charles Ramsey slammed the police response, saying on CNN, “Anybody inside that building … ought to be face down in handcuffs right now.”

“In my experience in 50 years in law enforcement, this is unprecedented,” former Secret Service Director John Magaw told USA Today.

Videos show Trump supporters clashing with police and breaking into the US Capitol building where chaos escalated and a woman was fatally shot. Similar to recent anti-racism and police brutality protests, a citywide 6 p.m. curfew was announced in DC and the National Guard and Virginia National Guard troops were deployed to mediate the turmoil. 

Shortly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called on Trump to demand that all protestors leave the U.S. Capitol immediately, Trump released a one-minute video telling his supporters to go home. In the video, which was removed by Twitter, Trump furthered his baseless claims that he won the election over President-elect Joe Biden before he told the rioters that they are “very special.”

“This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people,” Trump said. “We have to have peace. So go home … we love you, you’re very special.”

The president’s message to rioters starkly differed from his words to protestors around last year’s protests, including a demonstration in DC last summer where people were sprayed with chemical agents. 

 

Black activists, attornies, authors, and civil rights groups quickly pointed out the different responses met by peaceful demonstrators and people of color.

 

Others called out the inequality of law enforcement response to the rioters who violently breached the Capitol and BLM protesters.

Read more:

A harrowing photo shows a Trump supporter carrying a Confederate flag inside the US Capitol, flanked by portraits of Civil War figures

Pro-Trump rioters gathered outside statehouses and lawmakers’ homes nationwide

Dystopian photo shows Trump rioters clashing with police in front of the US Capitol as night falls in DC

Several groups of extremists stormed the Capitol today. Here are some of the most notable individuals, symbols, and groups present.

 

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