Within the US Capitol, lawmakers and reporters are stuck when a massive group of supporters of Donald Trump try to break into the house.
Alarming videos and photos shared on social media show demonstrators wearing MAGA hats and T-shirts grappling outside the Washington DC building with armed police officers.
Unconfirmed rumors of “suspicious” packages or other objects being discovered at the scene, as well as reports of gunshots and the discovery of a suspected pipe bomb, have been identified.
Protestors are now trying to break through the barricades surrounding the house, which is full of lawmakers, workers and journalists at the moment.
Two buildings on the Hill, including the Madison Library of Congress Building and the Cannon House Office Building, have been evacuated by the United States Capitol Police.
In the meantime, those in the Senate area are stuck inside, hoping that the police will keep the armed demonstrators out.
Reporters have allegedly been told in the Senate press gallery that if demonstrators storm the building successfully, they would be hurried into the Senate chamber with the door closed behind them.
Vice-President Mike Pence, according to posts on Twitter, is among those “sheltering in place”
BREAKING: Trump supporters have breached the Capitol building, tearing down 4 layers of security fencing and are attempting to occupy the building — fighting federal police who are overrun
This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Thousands, police can’t stop them pic.twitter.com/VVdTUwV5YN
— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ElijahSchaffer) January 6, 2021
Trump, the incumbent president, had previously urged his followers to march from the White House to the Capitol to protest his election defeat, which would see him leave office later this month.
At the March to Save America protest, hundreds of people wearing Trump’s iconic MAGA merchandise and military gear turned up, according to eyewitnesses at the scene.
Many of them were allegedly members of the far-right Proud Boys movement, which has a history of violent incidents.
Trump has been fanning the fury of his supporters for weeks by arguing that, despite no evidence to support this argument, the 2020 election was stolen from him.
He is anticipated to make an appearance later today at the rally.
As a precaution, local police have increased security and warned residents to stay away from potentially violent demonstrators.
“I just had to evacuate my office because of a pipe bomb reported outside,” Congresswoman Elaine Luria tweeted.
The President’s supporters are trying to push their way into the Capitol and I can hear what sounds like several shots of fire.
“I don’t recognise our country today and the members of Congress who have supported this anarchy do not deserve to represent their fellow Americans.”