NewsNational Politics


Demonstrators get inside U.S. Capitol during joint session, Congress told to shelter in place

APTOPIX Electoral College Protests
APTOPIX Electoral College Protests
Electoral College Protests
Posted at 11:45 AM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 15:46:19-05

The U.S. Capitol is on lockdown as demonstrators have gotten past law enforcement and are inside the building right now.

Hundreds of demonstrators stormed barricades outside the U.S. Capitol Wednesday afternoon, at the moment Congress was inside beginning a joint session to accept the Electoral College votes confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s presidential election win.

As demonstrators continued to push their way toward the Capitol, law enforcement used flash bangs and tear gas to keep the crowd away from the building.

However, the group was able to breach the building, and those inside tweeted they were told to shelter in place and get to an office. ABC News reports Vice President Mike Pence was taken to a secure location inside the Capitol.

Both the Senate and House of Representatives paused their sessions.

The Mayor of D.C. has issued a curfew for Wednesday night beginning at 6 p.m. ET.

Capitol Police initially ordered staff to evacuate House Cannon building and the James Madison Memorial Building, which is part of the Library of Congress. There are reports the evacuations are due to a suspicious package in the area, according to CNN.

A Virginia Representative, Elaine Luria, tweeted that she was evacuated "because of a pipe bomb reported outside. Supporters of the President are trying to force their way into the Capitol and I can hear what sounds like multiple gunshots."

A short time later, media outlets reported the Capitol was on lockdown and people were not allowed to leave.

Supporters of President Donald Trump gathered in Washington D.C. this week to pressure lawmakers not to accept the Electoral College votes.

Trump addressed the crowd earlier in the day, retelling baseless claims of voter fraud in the presidential election and calling on Vice President Mike Pence to send the Electoral College ballots back to the states for a “revote” to keep him as president.

Following Trump’s speech, a group of demonstrators pushed, and then knocked over barricades around the Capitol, according to the Washington Post. The group then reportedly ran through the field toward the Capitol.

Those who made it through were stopped by law enforcement at the Capitol. Officers on the Capitol kept demonstrators off the Capitol steps as the group started chanting.