Thousands of protesters carrying Trump flags and shouting “You swore an oath” repeatedly clashed with police officers, tearing down a tarp and climbing over scaffolding as they surged toward the door of the US Capitol on Wednesday afternoon.
Though police deployed smoke explosives to try to halt crowds, the demonstrators managed to push the police line up the steps on the east side of the Capitol. Then a small group broke into the building.
Many of the maskless protesters waved American flags as they swore at the officers and at times surged forward, leading to scuffles. The videos showed people tear back a white tarp and hang on metal scaffolding just in front of the Capitol building as thousands of others cheered them on.
“Stop the steal,” they shouted as they moved past the large columns of the Capitol building and toward a door.
Some stood outside of the Capitol helping peers climb over a stone hedge and walk across the front lawn. “Don’t just stand there, march forward,” one woman shouted.
The Senate stopped its proceedings with Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) interrupted by an aide who said protesters were in the building.
The House doors also were closed. In a notification, the U.S. Capitol Police said no entry or exit is permitted in the buildings within the Capitol Complex. “Stay away from exterior windows, doors. If outside, seek cover,” police said.