In what has been described by mainstream American media as an “armed insurrection” and a “coup attempt,” supporters of outgoing American President Donald Trump have occupied the Congress in Washington DC, interrupting the ceremonial Electoral College counting of votes and forcing Senators and Representatives to flee. Rioters penetrated security barriers in the Capitol, entering with rifles and other weapons. Armed standoffs occurred in the chambers of Congress, and several people, including police officers, are reported to have been wounded.
Responding to the violence, American president-elect Joseph Biden addressed the nation minutes ago, and demanded that Trump order his supporters to “end this siege.” Police have pulled back from the Capitol grounds, citing danger to police officers from mob action. In a brief broadcast statement congratulating his followers, Trump repeatedly denounced what he falsely described as a “stolen” election, but asked for “peace.” Trump’s Vice President, Michael Pence, who was leading the ceremonial vote count when the interruption occurred, had refused Trump’s order to throw the election to him. He is now reported to be in hiding “at a safe location.”
According to American national media reports, all available paramilitary troops of the Washington, D.C, National Guard have been ordered mobilized, as well as forces from neighboring states of Virginia and Maryland. However, as of 5:00 pm Washington time, no troops, either National Guard or regular Army, have been deployed to retake the Capitol and restore order, and Trump supporters are shown continuing to wander at will in and around the Congress buildings.
Offices belonging to Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi were reported to have been vandalized. As this report is written the situation continues to develop. Some Democratic political figures have called for Trump’s immediate removal for “sedition, insurrection, and leading an uprising,” but major Republican leadership has remained mute on the situation in Washington.
Outside of Washington no rioting or military action of any kind has been reported, and American military bases and installations around the world reportedly remain at a normal state of alert.