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Reactionary uprising against the Parliament

Friday 8 January 2021, by K Mann

The drama of the U.S. presidential elections held on November 3, continued on January 6 with the forced and violent entry into the parliament buildings by pro-Trump mobs. Hundreds of pro-Trump protesters lined the corridors and offices of elected officials for several hours. Some brandished US and Confederate arms and flags (the flag of the southerners, pro-slavery in the Civil War of 1861-1865). There were four deaths related to the affair.

Deputies and senators were quickly evacuated. A curfew was announced for the evening. The governors of the neighboring states of Maryland and Virginia sent out their National Guards. Rioters were expelled before counter-demonstrations could be organized. While many of them were members of right-wing extremist groups such as the Proud Boys, no one group seemed to be leading the affair. The media labeled them as "insurrectionists".

Violent theater coup

The incidents followed a demonstration in Washington D.C. where Trump spoke out to attack his own vice president and elected officials of his own party for failing to take action (the means for which do not exist) to prevent the confirmation of the results of the November 3 elections.

The invasion of parliament took place as parliament met after the year-end vacations to confirm the Electoral College results on the November 3 elections that were won by the centrist Democrat former Senator and Obama vice president Joe Biden. At the same time, the victory of the two Democrats in special elections in the state of Georgia on January 5 gave the Democrats a slim majority in the Senate (the Democrats also have a majority in the House of Representatives). Biden outdistanced Trump by seven million votes and 306 electoral votes to 232 in the Electoral College. Normally, the confirmation of the results by both houses - the final step in the presidential political chessboard - takes place without incident or drama. But for weeks Trump, who does not accept his defeat and repeats endlessly in his Twitter statements -without any expectation-that the Democrats stole the elections with massive fraud and that he, Trump, had won by huge margins, has questioned the legitimacy of the elections in the eyes of the hard core of supporters and according to the polls a good part of the Republican electorate.

Lawyers have conducted some sixty lawsuits demanding that the ballots of certain key states be invalidated and that Trump be proclaimed President! Each of these lawsuits, none of which were based on an inch of evidence, failed. Among the judges who rejected Trump’s lawsuits were many appointed by Trump himself.

On the other hand, many of Trump’s parliamentary acolytes participated in his campaign of disinformation based on misinformation in the style of the Caucasian vision outlined by George Orwell in his 1984 novel and perfected by Hitler and Goebbels, either out of conviction or out of fear of being targeted by Trump. One hundred and forty deputies and a few senators signaled their intention to vote against Biden’s confirmation-not enough to prevent confirmation, but extraordinary nonetheless.) But after the riot in parliament, a good party among them, including Kelly Loeffler, Georgia’s ultra-conservative senator who had lost her seat to the Democrats a day before, abandoned their intentions to vote against the confirmation. Indeed, no Republican elected official supported Trump’s actions and his rioters, and many called on Trump to issue a statement condemning the riot. Trump finally declared that he would pass the baton to Biden without accepting that he had lost the election. The next day, January 7, saw votes from both parties condemning the riots, the resignation of members including his transport minister. Elected officials, including Republican senators called for Trump to be stripped of his powers for his role in the affair.

The extreme right was always marginal in the United States. There are no comparisons with the experience of facist and fascist small groups in Europe in the 1930s and they remain marginal today. But the ability of a few hundred of the protesters to easily enter the corridors of opposing power by the meagre police force, which made relatively few arrests (about 50), raises questions. Why were there so few police guarding the area? It must have been hard to imagine such gentle treatment of left-wing or colored demonstrators.

Among the lessons of January 6th: there is an extreme right encouraged by Trump which is small but audacious and ready to resort to violence. Trump’s weeks of disinformation, repeated by many of the elected Republicans, would damage the legitimacy of the system in the eyes of a large part of the electorate. But at the same time, the blue-cap Republican system, the white cap system that served the ruling class so well, remains in place even under heavy pressure. No sector of capital or state apparatus supported Trump in these attempts to build up the electoral and legal system. More than a hundred of the CEOs signed a document against challenging the November 3 results, and the military firmly rejected the possibility of coming. Trump found that government control does not give absolute control over the levers of the state.

7 January 2021

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