As I am sure many of yall reading this have seen Washinton DC was wrecked by protests today. While these protests had been known about the situation at the Capital quickly devolved and turned into not only an embarrassment for the Federal Government but most importantly a sad loss of life event. I am located within walking distance to the Capital and my roommate works for a House of Representatives Member. I drop him off for work each morning and pick him up so this morning when I dropped him off I checked out how it was around the Capital. At that time while people were funneling in and joining up there was nothing rowdy or rambunctious giving me a feeling of maybe we can make it through this thing in one piece.
After I had dropped my roommate off and went home I was able to knock out a bunch of small tasks in our apartment. Since we live so close to the Capital I decided that I might as well go see the protests and see what was going on. My roommate had wanted to go see them however I knew he was going to be stuck in his congressional office all day.
When I first walked up to the Capital Building a little after 1 pm everything was relatively quiet. Trump from what I understand had not begun his speech yet and everyone was really just out and about having a decent time. Yes, people cared and were there for a reason but the atmosphere was really relaxed. I took several photos and videos to send to my roommate and hung out. After a little bit, I decided to go see what was going on the other side of the building, the area in front of the National Mall. When I walked around I saw a nice police lady who was just standing and watching and asked her how the crowd had been. I had heard a couple of crowd dispersal bangs but nothing too crazy. The lady was very nice and told me that while it has been good it was starting to get worse and that I really did not need to be there. She was concerned for my safety since I was by myself and I am not a huge dude. After I thanked her I watched more and more as police officers began to pour into the front of the building beefing up the security that was separating the building from the National Mall.
This would turn out to be a losing battle as we all know. The police were greatly outnumbered I would say there could have easily been several hundred thousand people there. I then began to see Officers armed with crowd dispersal guns pouring in and the loud bangs really picked up to a couple of them a minute. I began to walk away as I saw them pulling barriers out of their way and pouring on the Capital Building grounds. I then got a call from my roommate informed me that he had to run an errand for our Congressman and the office buildings had been placed in lockdown. Not long after my friend in the Marines stationed outside of DC called me yelling at me to get out of there as they were having to evacuate parts of the Capitol Building and Offices. He then said words that will strike me square forever.
"They are on the steps, they have breached the doors, they are inside."
I could not believe it as within 20 minutes the crowd had completely changed. The same people were there but Trump's speech that was being blasted through the speakers lit a fire under these people. With my roommate stuck outside with the Congressman's car, I decided to find him but that took almost an hour due to the cell towers being turned on and off thus leading me to run for four miles to get to him. By the time I did the huge events had been taking place. They had gotten not only in but into Pelosi's office and then into the Chambers and they were able to walk her podium out the door. The police around the building were just dumbstruck looking as this was way way above them. I was getting blown up by family and friends as I had been posting pictures and videos while running around.
My friend in the Marines then called to tell me that the curfew that was being implemented at 6 pm was already shutting down roads entering and leaving DC. Between talking to his wife and him my roommate and I made the choice to stay since getting out was not guaranteed. Chase has also kept me up to date on the standoff that was going on and the protester that had lost her life. These events just do not seem real and something that is happening in my dreams. Below I have added some photos from the day showing the different times. Please everyone stay safe wherever you are.