By | January 2, 2022


Donald Trump was met with cheers are chants on the “Save America” rally on Jan. 6.

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Photographs


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Tasos Katopodis/Getty Photographs


Donald Trump was met with cheers are chants on the “Save America” rally on Jan. 6.

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Photographs

Editor’s notice: This story comprises language that could be offensive.

“I used to be standing amid 1000’s of Trump supporters on the garden rising as much as the Washington Monument,” says NPR’s Tom Bowman. “Then Trump got here on stage to raucous applause.”

Bowman was reporting from the “Save America” rally in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6. Up till the purpose when former President Trump started talking, the rally held a festive air, nearly like a soccer sport, he mentioned. “Some Trump supporters have been singing YMCA however utilizing the letters M-A-G-A.”

However issues have been completely different on the Capitol constructing, the place I used to be standing with Hannah Allam, NPR’s extremism reporter. The far-right group the Proud Boys had simply proven up and have been organizing a crowd to go for the rally. We had quietly embedded ourselves with them as they started to stroll west on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Then out of the blue, they stopped. And rotated. The rally was on its option to us.

Moments earlier, Trump had claimed election fraud, referred to as the outcomes “bull****” and instructed the group to fulfill him on the Capitol. 1000’s complied, many not even ready for Trump to complete his speech.

What occurred subsequent continues to be a little bit of a blur. Hannah and I noticed a roaring sea of individuals and flags transferring towards us. I barely had time to alter the batteries in my recording tools earlier than we have been surrounded.

And everybody is aware of what occurred subsequent.

Professional-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following the rally.

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Samuel Corum/Getty Photographs


Professional-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following the rally.

Samuel Corum/Getty Photographs

A makeshift gallows. A altering narrative

It has been a 12 months since that pro-Trump mob broke by the Capitol doorways and home windows, attacked regulation enforcement and media and vandalized the constructing as lawmakers have been rushed to safe places. 5 folks died in or on account of the assault and 140 law enforcement officials have been assaulted, together with members of the media.

Because it was unfolding, we requested one of many rioters, who referred to as himself “Joe from Ohio,” what the aim was.

“The folks on this home, who stole this election from us, hanging from a gallows out right here on this garden for the entire world to see, so it by no means occurs once more,” he mentioned. “That is what must occur. 4 by 4 by 4, hanging from a rope out right here for treason.”

A makeshift gallows with a noose was really constructed on the Capitol grounds that day however was by no means used.

A noose was seen on makeshift gallows as Trump supporters gathered on the west aspect of the U.S. Capitol.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP through Getty Photographs


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Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP through Getty Photographs


A noose was seen on makeshift gallows as Trump supporters gathered on the west aspect of the U.S. Capitol.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP through Getty Photographs

On one other aspect of the Capitol, Tom Bowman was speaking to Natalie O’Brien and Chris Scalcucci, a pair from Detroit. He requested them why they have been doing this.

“The Republic falling,” O’Brien mentioned. “And turning into corrupt and unmanageable. And our vote not mattering in any respect in any respect.”

This was my view as the group surged to the Capitol.

Lauren Hodges


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Lauren Hodges


This was my view as the group surged to the Capitol.

Lauren Hodges

“As a result of we love our nation,” Scalcucci added. “And we do not need it to fall within the arms of those evil folks. The stuff that they do, it is unforgivable.”

“Our tax {dollars} pay for this monument. That is sort of our property,” O’Brien mentioned.

For a lot of who participated within the siege, it felt like a patriotic act. They have been loyal Individuals protesting what they’d been instructed was a stolen election.

However as arrests proceed and jail sentences start, how have the results reshaped the narrative?

Final month, information broke that Mark Meadows, Trump’s then-chief of workers, texted with Fox Information hosts on Jan. 6. They have been asking Trump to make a public assertion to his supporters and name off the riot. However by that night, the identical hosts had a special story.

“There are some experiences that Antifa sympathizers might have been sprinkled all through the group,” Laura Ingraham mentioned on her present that evening.

And that narrative unfold.

A protester holds a Trump flag contained in the U.S. Capitol close to the Senate Chamber.

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Win McNamee/Getty Photographs


A protester holds a Trump flag contained in the U.S. Capitol close to the Senate Chamber.

Win McNamee/Getty Photographs

We all know who was there

Months later, Tom Bowman and I went again to the Capitol grounds in Sept. for the “Justice for J6” rally. Numerous the folks we spoke to had additionally been there on Jan. 6. And but, they have been echoing the story they’d heard on Fox Information.

“These weren’t Trump supporters,” mentioned a person named Phil from Kentucky, claiming the one folks breaking in have been dressed all in black.

“So that they have been black helmets, black garments, black backpacks who began busting the home windows first,” mentioned Janie, a nurse from South Carolina, who mentioned she noticed members of Antifa and Black Lives Matter committing the violence. She additionally claimed the Trump supporters have been really attempting to struggle them off. However after we talked about we have been on website that day, she admitted that she by no means really got here shut sufficient to the Capitol to see any violence.

We let her know that the Proud Boys have been wearing all black that day, having deliberate to forego their typical colours of black and yellow so as to be “incognito.”

“I did not know that,” she mentioned.

Protesters who declare to be members of the Proud Boys collect outdoors the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Alex Edelman/AFP through Getty Photographs


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Alex Edelman/AFP through Getty Photographs


Protesters who declare to be members of the Proud Boys collect outdoors the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Alex Edelman/AFP through Getty Photographs

However the thread making an attempt in charge Antifa and Black Lives Matter was repeated by former President Trump himself as lately as two weeks in the past. In an interview with Candace Owens on Dec. 21, he additionally mentioned it was FBI informants instigating the group.

However we all know who was there.

Up to now, greater than 700 folks have been charged. The defendants are largely white, and 13% of them have ties to the navy or regulation enforcement. Greater than 100 of them have alleged ties to recognized extremist or fringe organizations, just like the pro-Trump conspiracy concept QAnon, the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, and the Three Percenters, part of the anti-government militia motion. However the bulk had no ties to extremist teams.

Supporters of these charged within the Jan. 6 assault attend the ‘Justice for J6’ rally close to the U.S. Capitol on September 18.

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Tasos Katopodis/Getty Photographs


Supporters of these charged within the Jan. 6 assault attend the ‘Justice for J6’ rally close to the U.S. Capitol on September 18.

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Photographs

‘An American insurrectionist motion’

Tampa Bay legal professional Bjorn Brunvand represents a number of individuals who have been on the Capitol that day, together with Robert Scott Palmer, who was lately sentenced to 5 years in jail for assaulting regulation enforcement officers with a fireplace extinguisher, a wooden plank and a flagpole. His is the longest such time period but.

“He believed within the lies that have been being professed by former President Trump and his accomplices,” Brunvand mentioned.

However he mentioned his consumer has had a significant change of coronary heart since his arrest.

“It went from 100% assist for President Trump and the concept that the election was fraudulent in the beginning … to the popularity that he was misled. He is sitting in a detention facility right here in Washington, D.C. and this huge highly effective former president who mentioned ‘meet me on the Capitol’, he is too busy enjoying golf and has no real interest in any of the blokes which have been arrested,” Brunvand mentioned.

Donald Trump on the “Save America” rally on Jan. 6.

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Tasos Katopodis/Getty Photographs


Donald Trump on the “Save America” rally on Jan. 6.

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Photographs

He mentioned Palmer took President Trump’s phrases that day as a directive. That he did it for him. And now he feels deserted.

“Not solely did he not present up, he isn’t there for anybody who have been there and supposedly have been there to save lots of democracy and save the nation. When the truth is, they have been doing fairly the other,” Brunvand mentioned.

However the concept of Jan. 6 didn’t die with the day. The College of Chicago Challenge on Safety and Threats has been monitoring insurrectionist sentiment within the U.S. for a 12 months now. It discovered that 21 million share the identical beliefs that motivated rioters that day.

In different phrases, thousands and thousands of Individuals assist the thought of political violence. Researchers name it “an American insurrectionist motion” that, a 12 months after the assault on the Capitol, continues to be alive and properly.

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