As our colleague, Photojournalist Julian Leshay started to report from Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021, his images sent to my phone (along with other social media feed) was filled up with images of supporters of Donald Trump that were out of a Saturday Night Live episode. Photos of a man about to attack armed police officers with an axe handle, a number of far right pro-Trump protesters trying to hurt US Capitol Police Officers with a massive Trump 2020 banner, people climbing the wall at the US Capitol, a I don’t know what the actual hell this is….,followed by a man carrying an US Senate Podium that people kept calling ‘Via Getty’ on social media (who legitimately thought that was his name), a man putting his feet up on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk, an extremist hanging off the balcony & dropping on the Senate floor who then proceeded to seat in Speakers Pelosi’s chair on the Senate floor, another walking through the floor of the US Capitol with a confederate battle flag, and others taking selfies as if this was some sort of a drunk KKK night out in the swamp somewhere. But this wasn’t. This was the US Capitol.
WASHINGTON D.C., Jan. 6, 2021 –– Jake Angeli a.k.a. “QAnon Shaman" on D.C. streets before the U.S. Capitol siege. Photo: Julian Leshay
It was in the moment when the US Capitol PD was outnumbered, realizing that
what was going on was a coverage of the US Capitol about to be breached by deranged national terroristic fascist mob led by no one other than the President, and in the middle of all the violence, chaos and batshit crazy SNL episode, Julian’s safety became my focus. And in return, Julian became a ‘war correspondent.’
For the first itme, instead of reporting, I found myself conducting check ins with Julian, while continuing to monitor the footage coming in, watching in horror footage of signs such as ‘murder the media’ written on the US Capitol door, and other mob of Trump supporters who swarmed some media outside the US Capitol, destroying their equipment.
The breach of the US Capitol, and of our democracy was indeed terrifying to watch, and more so for independent media outside the US Capitol among raging right wing Trump supporters, such as elected officials, QAnon, Proud Boys, and regular Americans — but one allegiance. While inside the US Capitol, corporate media, legislators, Vice President Mike Pence and staff found themself trapped in the building by national terrorists. Some wore shirts glorifying the Holocaust, others were shirtless, and paraded the Conferedate flag in front of Charles Sumner’s portrait...on his birthday (January 6, 1811).
While this is no laughing matter, it also was a scene of cretins taking selfies for social media performance inside the Capitol, creating endless content for memes, making them a global laughing stock, and America a global embarrassment.
They didn’t stop anything. They did however become traitors for life of the very country they claim to be passionately loyal to. An US Capitol Police Officer (please donate to Officer Brian D. Sicknick Memorial if you can) died after suffering injuries in the violent siege on Capitol Hill. A right wing mob was shot to death by police inside the Capitol, and numerous other injuries were reported.
It was violent, yet a dumb coup going nowhere, incided by the dumbest and treasonous soon not-to-be President in the history of America. These cretins invaded the US Capitol and the first thing they did was to take selfies and videos for social media content and likes. For the next 20+ years in jail on treason and other numerous federal charges committed on this day, these selfies and videos will be a daily reminder of their foolishness and blind loyalty to a lying narcissist.
At 4 a.m. on Jan. 7, 2021, Joe Biden was declared once again the President elect of the 2020 election.