On January 6, 2021, groups of pro-Trump rioters breached into the U.S. Capitol building. Spurred by President Donald Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election, rioters made an effort to overturn the victory of President-elect Joe Biden as members of Congress counted electoral votes. Trump’s claims of widespread election fraud in several states have been proven to be false by local election officials. The mob trespassed through restricted areas, breaking into Congressional offices and damaging property. The riots resulted in the deaths of five people. On January 13, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection.” Trump is the first U.S. president to be impeached twice.
Andover condemned the attempted insurrection in an email from Head of School Dr. Raynard Kington and provided support spaces and discussions with the class deans, chaplains, and the Brace Center for Gender Studies. ASM on January 12 featured Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton ’97 and addressed the event’s gravity.
“The events of today are abhorrent acts that have no place in our society… These events mark a previously unimaginable new level of disregard for our Democracy. The many freedoms granted by our U.S. Constitution give no one the right to incite violence or to deny the votes of the people. Those who choose to express themselves through violence and those who seek to destroy our Democracy must be held accountable,” wrote Kington in his email on January 6.
Isaac Heitmann ’22
Trump must be impeached to make clear that what he has done is completely unacceptable, and that we as a country will not tolerate a white supremacist, borderline-dictatorial president. If the government is able to do this, then it will have taken a major step in the right direction. If not, then the government will have once again proven itself ineffective in creating actual change despite the wishes of its citizens.
Evie Oosting ’24
It was pretty surreal, since an attack on the Capitol building seems more like something that happened 200 years ago in a history book rather than at 1:30 in the middle of my history class. Now that it’s settled down, I think I get more angry the more I learn about what really happened. More and more video is being released, and the way that the police allowed people to run right into the Capitol without much attempt to stop them is horrifying.
Marie Faugeres ’23
[The Brazilian] president is super similar to Trump, he’s constantly talking bad about the [Covid-19] vaccine, saying horrible things like that. He also looks up to the United States a lot and he’s demonstrated his support for Trump. So, this, this isn’t something that would shock me honestly. I think it’s even more common for Brazilians, when Brazil is like that. Brazil is even more separated than America in some ways, politically, but that is because we have, in my opinion, a lot more conservatives than liberals. No one talks about that because Brazil isn’t really seen as kind of a country where people partake in mainstream media.
Nick Liu ’23
Sadly, America’s going to become more polarized… People are talking about impeaching him for a second time. And then he’s the first president in like 100 years to openly say that he’s not going to go to Biden’s inauguration. People showed up to the protest who genuinely believe that Trump genuinely lost the election and Biden stole… Unfortunately, polarization seems to be the only way in which America is progressing.
Eleanor Tong ’24
I personally got quite a bit of support. I was reached out by my house counselor, and my advisor. We also had a full class on it in history. We need to remember that this was an extremely violent event. This was not a protest, people were killed. The members of Congress were in danger. The law enforcement was also in danger. Hardly any of the protestors were wearing masks. They were putting both themselves and the people around them in danger. So this was not any sort of positive event. This was definitely an act of, it’s in a failed coup as one of my history teachers had said, I think we just need to definitely address that this was not okay.
Cisco Hernandez ’23
I think the school did as much as they could. Because one, we are virtual, and they can’t do as much. So the school sent a lot of emails, and I think they did a pretty good job at trying to make sure students were okay. Teachers would even talk about it in class and ask if everyone is okay. They did a pretty good job.
Chenault Ellis ’22
I remember watching it on a YouTube livestream thinking “what the [expletive] is wrong with everybody?” It took me a while to register that a bunch of conspiracy theorists overpowered government security. It was also extremely disappointing that after literally inciting the insurrection, G.O.P. congressmen suddenly deleted tweets and acted like they weren’t involved.
Alana Yang ’21
While I’m not shocked that the event itself happened, the level of defense at the Capitol was laughable and that surprised me a bit more. All of this goes to point to deeper issues of white privilege, in that most rioters were able to make it into the Capitol without facing any harm while many peaceful protests or social movements wouldn’t be able to make it near the grounds, let alone in the actual congressional chambers… The administration’s lack of action as a whole is disappointing. In leadership training, a lot of us expressed frustration with the administration, in that in the light of emotionally draining current events, the administration rarely does anything to alleviate our usual workload and commitments.