Attack on the Capitol. One year since the events in Washington. CNN correspondent’s account

  • From the mouth of a 30-year-old man he heard: “We could fucking destroy you now. You are traitors”
  • According to the journalist, American intelligence had information “indicating the possibility of losing control of the situation and threats to the Capitol and its occupants. However, they were ignored”
  • As the American emphasizes, “the country has learned little from those events, and the polarization has deepened even more.” Polls show that most Republican voters consider Joe Biden’s election invalid
  • “It’s hard to shake off the shock of these events. I’ve never been attacked like this before,” writes Alex Marquardt.
  • More information can be found on the Onet homepage

Attack on the Capitol. “You are traitors”

On January 6, 2021, about an hour after the start of the assault, our team of six was on the steps on the north terrace of the Capitol. Some in the crowd figured out that we were working for CNN.

Information spread quickly. We felt all the stares that were immediately piercingly hostile. Within moments, they started pushing and tugging us, the crowd shouting and cursing us. We immediately understood that we had to get out of there. We pushed our way through an increasingly agitated group of people, and the rebels were calling us names.

One man was walking beside us, shaking his gloved finger at us. He looked no more than 30 years old, was tall, had a black jacket, a dark green backpack, and a scarf that covered his mouth and nose. – Who are you with? He shouted. “There are more of us than you,” he repeated twice. “We could fucking destroy you now,” he said coldly. – You are traitors.

I have reported on Trump rallies before and witnessed the hostility to the media that the ex-president’s rhetoric has aroused. Journalists had been incessantly attacked by the administration for the past four years and reporters’ safety became an increasing concern, with physical threats becoming very common. The hatred that was boiling that day had been building up for a long time, and people’s faith in the press was already severely damaged.

I have spent a large part of my journalistic career abroad as a correspondent. I have covered many protests, uprisings and conflicts. I am used to the dynamics of angry crowds. I was in Tahrir Square in 2011 for protests in Turkey and the West Bank, in the war zones of Syria, Libya and Gaza. This time, however, everything happened two miles from my home, minutes from the neighborhood where I live.


Photo: Roberto Schmidt / AFP

January 6, 2021 was a very troubled day in the US that has become history.

American intelligence knew what was going to happen?

Me and my team arrived at the Capitol that day shortly after the end of the Trump rally in Ellipse. We knew people were headed towards the building itself, but we didn’t know how the situation would develop. We were of course prepared for the fact that things might get out of hand, but we had no idea what lay ahead.

Suddenly, protesters began storming the west side, where Biden was to be sworn in in two weeks’ time. Others climbed the wall to get to the Capitol terrace. The uprising broke out in earnest.

The rest of the text is below the video.

In the months following this incident, we learned that there was intelligence that indicated a possible loss of control and a threat to the Capitol and its occupants. However, they were ignored, and there was insufficient force on the spot to prevent what happened. I was surprised by the size of the crowd compared to the size of the police assembled.

A year passes, but often one gets the impression that the country has learned little from those events, and the polarization has deepened even more. For many Republicans, this is a day that is at best ignored and at worst completely written off as a fraud. The collective shock that millions of people around the world have experienced as the seat of the US government is stormed is downplayed by so many in the country – those whose own “People’s House” has been desecrated.

As it enters the year of decisive mid-term elections, the “big lie” is still on the lips of citizens and still doing well. Polls show that most Republican voters consider the election of Joe Biden invalid, and representatives of the Republican Party who refuted this allegation or spoke out against the insurgents were excluded from it. The divisions revealed in January last year have only deepened in many ways.

From a personal perspective, it’s hard to shake off the shock of these events. I had never been attacked like this before, and like other journalists, I was just doing my job there. Fellow Americans, self-proclaimed “patriots”, chanted “traitor” and threatened to “destroy” us. Never before have I encountered such hatred up close. From a professional perspective, it is disgusting to see so-called journalists fueling divisions and spreading conspiracy theories that have caused much harm in this country.

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(KT, pmd)

About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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