‘Mob rule’: Alaskans at the Capitol watch unrest roiling outside their doors

As seen from a window overlooking an empty field, hundreds of protesters gather
Protesters outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 before Pro-Trump extremists stormed that capitol. (Liz Ruskin/Alaska Public Media).

Angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting a peaceful transfer of power, forcing lawmakers to be rushed from the building and interrupting challenges to Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, according to the Associated Press. Trump issued a restrained call for peace but did not call on his supporters to leave, the AP said.

Listen to special coverage of the event or read the latest updates on NPR

All three members of Alaska’s congressional delegation issued statements on social media Wednesday afternoon, saying they were safe and condemning violence.

“I am disgusted by the lawless acts of violence being perpetrated at the Capitol. Disgraceful. A sad day in American history. The world is watching. We are the United States of America. We must be better than this. We ARE better than this,” Senator Dan Sullivan wrote on Facebook.

Rep. Don Young asked the mob to “stand down.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski said “It is truly mob rule at the moment.”

The Pentagon said about 1,100 D.C. National Guard members were being mobilized late Wednesday to help support law enforcement.

Alaska Public Media reporter Liz Ruskin was in her Capitol office when a large group of protestors approached. She shared what she was seeing on Twitter.

A large Trump flag waves in front of the U.S. Capitol
Protesters outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Pro-Trump extremists later stormed the U.S. Capitol. Photo from 9:01 a.m. tweet. (Liz Ruskin/Alaska Public Media)

Just after 2 p.m. local time, a mob broke through the barricades into the capitol, the New York Times reported. The AP reported dozens of people breached security perimeters at the Capitol and lawmakers inside the House chamber were told to put on gas masks as tear gas was fired in the Rotunda. Lawmakers had been meeting to affirm Joe Biden’s victory. The skirmishes occurred outside the building, in the very spot president-elect Biden will be inaugurated in just two weeks.

RELATED: Alaska’s congressional delegation takes heat from Trump fans as Electoral College count nears

Protesters tore down metal barricades at the bottom of the Capitol’s steps and were met by officers in riot gear. Some tried to push past the officers who held shields and officers could be seen firing pepper spray into the crowd to keep them back.

Some Alaskans were in Washington as part of the group protesting, she wrote.

Alaska governor Mike Dunleavy tweeted that those storming the Capitol did not represent Republican values.

Are you in Washington today? Tell us what you’re seeing.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

Alaska Public Media’s Liz Ruskin will recount her experiences on Alaska News Nightly tonight on your local public radio translator.

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