• Daniel Ethan Finneran

Capitol Building Besieged

The first item to which we turn today, about which, for weeks to come, and with a renewed sense of unsteadiness and disquiet, our wearied nation will likely be talking, is the apparent siege of the Capitol Building in Washington DC.

In the afternoon of The sixth of January, following a speech by president Donald J. Trump, a segment of the attendees to whom the president’s words were addressed proceed down the mile and a half corridor at whose end, like a grand, Athenian edifice amidst a city of dross, the Capitol Building sits.

These bustling rally-goers, eager to shed the civility in which they were so uncomfortably dressed, and adopt a lighter raiment, quickly transformed into protestors, and finally into invaders. Undaunted by the low temperatures and the gloominess of the day, they amassed outside the home of our Legislative Branch, a building in which, at that very moment, our members of Congress were busy certifying November’s Electoral College votes.

These votes, of course, have been the subject of much litigation and—short of that—heated political contention and debate, especially for those disinclined or unwilling to accept the pain of a recent defeat to which, despite every effort, there seems not to be any legitimate recourse.

It appears to have been the protestors’ aim first to demonstrate, then to intimidate, then perhaps, albeit brazenly, to interrupt and forcibly suspend the counting of said votes. Undeterred by local law enforcement officers, whose small numbers proved no impediment to their swelling zeal, the protestors penetrated the “people’s house”.

As uninvited guests, dressed, very fittingly, as horn-crowned barbarians and pelt-laden goths, they proceeded to damage property en route to their destination: the Senate floor. The legislators inside, suddenly fearful for their lives, were encouraged if not immediately to evacuate, then swiftly to seek cover beneath the protective cover of their desks.

Shots were fired. One person, an Air Force veteran and small-business-owner from California, yielded to her wounds. It’s unclear if she was the party by whom the exchange was provoked, or if she was killed accidentally in a cloud of cross-fire. Regarding the number detained by the police, to whose depleted ranks, much-needed reinforcements eventually did arrive, fifty-two people are known to have been arrested.

The final count of the vote, while delayed, was undeterred. It restarted hours later, when the threat was removed and the Capitol cleared of those by whom it was so disgracefully tarnished.

It was declared that Joseph R. Biden, former Vice President and Senator from the state of Delaware, had secured votes sufficient to grant him the privilege of being called, now formally, “successor to the 45th president of the United States”. Vice President Mike Pence, a man on whom, rather desperately, some people had hinged their final hopes for President Trump’s future success, made the announcement in the evening.

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