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Insurrection at the Capitol

Many Bella Vista students were shocked by the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, but not surprised by the role President Trump played in it.

The BV Newsroom interviewed students to voice the youth reaction to the assault on the token of democracy and the elected officials of Congress. Students recalled that on the morning of President Trump's rally, he gestured the crowd of rabid supporters to march to the Capitol and halt a free election as Congress was calculating Electoral College votes. The uproar resulted in the death of five people, including a Capitol Police officer.

Sophomore Kezia Harryanto scrolled on social media as the news broke. She wasn’t surprised that pro-Trump extremists would gather there and try to override election results as Congress was meeting to ratify the Electoral College votes for President Elect Joseph Biden. She coined the way the pro-Trump mob was handled by law enforcement a reflection of “White privilege” as compared to the violence of rubber bullets used against peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters at the Capitol.

“President Trump incited this protest by calling the election results an assault on our democracy and said that his supporters should walk down to the Capitol,” said Harryanto. “He’s just allowing all this to happen by calling them ‘special’ and saying, ‘I love you, go home'" (Kezia Harryanto, Sophomore).

Freshman Ian Bishop was surprised by the insurrection and didn’t expect Trump supporters to storm the Capitol. Ian, who watched on the television with his father, said, “Now I know that some people no longer respect democracy, people no longer recognize that an elected official should be peacefully led into office...They went against American laws….” Ian believed the behavior towards the mob of pro-Trump rioters in contrast to Black Lives Matter protesters exemplified racism (Ian Bishop, Sophomore).

Junior Lucia Hernandez was angered by the lack of security at the Capitol and the violence that took place. The riot in Washington D.C. had an impact on her father due to him working for the attorney general's office near the state Capitol. State employees working close or at the state Capitol received alerts warning to stay at home over fear of a similar occurrence that happened in Washington D.C. would happen at California’s Capitol. Her father decided to leave work early that day.

“Just seeing that these people were allowed to storm our Capitol with the confederate flag and weapons and they were breaking windows... that was just really heartbreaking and angering,” she expressed. Hernandez added how this event showed how much inequality is present in America when observing how the pro-Trump mob interacted with the police compared to the Black Lives Matter protests. President Trump did not scold his supporters for their actions and praised them, she said, which caused her fear that this could be a recurrence (Lucia Hernandez, Junior).

Junior Andrew Madrigal was shocked about the event. “Honestly, just shocked that anything like that could really even happen. The fact that they were able to get into the building doesn’t make any logical sense. You know a lot of America’s democracy is built around a peaceful transition of power. A peaceful transition of power is what makes our system an effective one,” he said. (Andrew Madrigal, Junior)

Senior Regina Aka discovered the event through Twitter and felt a wave of shock. She resented the lack of action taken by the police at the Capitol. “The thing that had the biggest influence on me was seeing all of the confederate flags there and the anti-Semitism,” she said. She has hope for the impeachment procedure and the positive result of him not being able to run again in the future. (Regina Aka, Senior)

The FBI in Sacramento and in all state capitals are planning for violence before and during President-Elect Biden’s inauguration. Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered more security at the California Capitol and said that he will call on the National Guard if necessary.

Now that the House of Representatives has impeached President Trump for the second time, a Senate trial will determine President Trump’s fate.

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