While some Charleston residents decry destructive protests that occurred at the United States Capitol on Wednesday, other locals told the City Paper they agree with pro-Trump critics.
Protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., during a joint session meeting to confirm Joe Biden’s presidential victory on Wednesday afternoon, breaking windows and entering the building and past law enforcement inside.
Legislators were escorted to safety, and staff members and reporters hunkered in offices and behind desks amid shouting and violence. One woman was reportedly shot and transported from Capitol Hill.
Some point to the president himself for spurring the violence seen Wednesday.
“Trump has been feeding his supporters lines about voter fraud and a stolen election, and it has culminated in this act of violence driven by misguided anger and fear,” West Ashley resident Allyson Warren told the City Paper.
Warren saw what she believed was a stark difference in response to Wednesday’s events in D.C. and what was witnessed during racial justice protests in Charleston and nationwide last year, which she said were comparable in size and action.
“When you look at what happened last summer and what’s happening right now, it’s really clear what the issue is,” she said. “If any of those protesters were people of color, and they weren’t, they never would have made it to the front door.”
Still, others agree with the protesters’ actions.
“I think it’s about time that somebody, people, did something about what’s going on,” said West Ashley resident Todd Lucas. “If I could be there, I would be. These people need to be reminded that they don’t choose the president; we do, and we choose Trump.”
Some do not think the critics took the right course of action to get their points across.
“I think some of what people are saying made sense,” said Charleston native Daniel Stephens. “If the election was fair, then nobody should have had anything to worry about when it came to recounts. But, what happened at the [capitol] just went too far.”
Multiple recounts in a handful of states did not change results of the initial election.
On-scene reporters with PBS News were able to briefly speak with protesters inside the capitol, who said they were angry about the election results and refused to accept them.