‘Blood now spilled’: Woman shot in US political riots
The US has descended into anarchy this morning, with MAGA protesters storming the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow democracy in the dying days of Donald Trump's presidency.
The outgoing President's supporters have not only taken to the streets, but have also breached the US Capitol building after breaking through barriers, withstanding tear gas and engaging in an armed standoff with police in a stunning refusal to accept Mr Trump's election loss.
CNN is reporting "blood now spilled" in Washington DC, with a woman reportedly in a critical condition after being shot in the chest at the scene, with witnesses describing hearing "shots fired".
A number of police officers have also reportedly been injured during clashes with demonstrators.
The Capitol is now in lockdown and Vice President Mike Pence has been evacuated, with other politicians ordered to seek shelter underneath their desks and the National Guard called in to assist.
A 6pm curfew has also been issued by the mayor of DC, although that deadline is still hours away.
The emergency kicked off while congress was in session to count and certify the Electoral College votes following the November 3 election, with MAGA supporters attempting to disrupt the proceedings and overturn Democrat Joe Biden's victory by storming the House Floor.
The joint session has since been halted, with a protester breaching the Senate floor and taking the Speaker's chair.
This is a coup attempt.— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) January 6, 2021
Audibly shaken media commentators have likened the situation to that of a "third world country"or "civil war", with CNN anchors this morning describing the chaos as a full-blown "rebellion" and "insurrection" in Washington DC and claiming Americans were "witnessing an attempt at sedition" on their television screens.
"This is just Bedlam … this is Trump's rebellion," one said, adding the situation was "very, very tense" and "out of control".
Reporters said they had not seen anything like the unfolding crisis since the Vietnam War, labelling the situation "unprecedented" and claiming it was "not a peaceful protest".
White supremacists, QAnon believers, and far right extremists are quite literally breaking the seat of American government in the name of a coup attempt. pic.twitter.com/LMcCwTNnp9— David Mack (@davidmackau) January 6, 2021
Donald Trump himself is facing serious criticism for so far failing to order his supporters to stand down, with the President yet to make a public statement.
The only comment he has made on the chaos has been a tweet urging Americans to "Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!", which critics have dismissed as a "flaccid" response.
They’ve asked us to take cover on the House floor and get our gas masks ready. This is insane.— Rep. Dean Phillips 🇺🇸 (@RepDeanPhillips) January 6, 2021
Although Mr Trump has repeatedly urged his supporters not to accept the election results, law enforcement has been taken by surprise this morning after being outnumbered by the sheer number of Trump supporters descending upon Washington DC.
The shocking scenes have even outraged Republicans, with many urging the President to step in and "call it off" by ordering his supporters to stand down and retreat.
Originally published as 'Blood now spilled': Woman shot in US coup