Witnesses say Trump was oblivious to the gravity of the situation as five died, Congress was violated and his vice-president faced the very real possibility of being lynched (…) The protest has turned into an insurrection, breaching the home of US democracy, for the first time since the British army set it on fire in 1814. Even those who had warned in vain of the Trump crowd’s criminal intent were stunned at how quickly the nation’s defences buckled. This was America’s “shining city upon a hill” but only the thinnest blue line was there to guard it at the crucial hour. It later turned out that the Capitol police had turned down offers of support from the national guard, only calling for reinforcements when it was too late. The plan was to act as relaxed and low-key as possible, presumably so as not to irritate the crowd. The contrast with the mass deployments of over 5,000 troops for the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer could not have been more glaring. Then, Washington resembled a city under occupation. On Wednesday, it was close to defenceless. This appeared to be deliberate, at least in part. Donald Trump was not about to let the federal government go to war with “his people”, who he had invited to the nation’s capital in a last-ditch effort to reverse his emphatic election defeat, due to be certified by Congress on Wednesday. The broader issue was race. The protesters in the summer were largely Black, infuriated by repeated police killings of unarmed Black civilians. The mob which stormed the Capitol was almost entirely white. Efforts to build a concerted government response to the growing white supremacist terrorist threat had been stymied for years in the absence of political will and money. The warning signs along the road to Wednesday’s attempted putsch, the dress-rehearsal occupations of state capitols and a foiled plot to kidnap the Michigan governor, not to mention the activities of the Proud Boys and other far-right factions, were mostly ignored.

via guardian: Insurrection Day: when white supremacist terror came to the US Capitol