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Descent into chaos: 38 photos that tell the story of last night's violence and destruction in Washington

Here’s how the day unfolded.

6 JANUARY 2021 will live in infamy.

Protesters, rioters, domestic terrorists, even arguably seditionists – take your pick – took over the US Capitol, interrupting a sitting that would officially confirm Joe Biden as the next US President.

Here’s how the day unfolded.

12.30am EST (5.30am Irish time)

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Democrat candidate Reverend Raphael Warnock declares victory in Georgia, where votes are being counted in a run-off election which would decide control of the Senate.

6.00am EST (11am Irish time)

congress-electoral-college Source: PA Images

Trump supporters begin gathering for a Save America rally in Washington DC.

12pm EST (5pm Irish time)

President Trump takes to the stage at his rally, using the White House as his backdrop.

president-trump-delivers-remarks-to-supporters-in-dc-to-support-trumps-claims-of-voter-fraud Source: PA Images

“We will never give up,” he tells the crowd of thousands.

We will never concede. It will never happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore.

president-trump-delivers-remarks-to-supporters-in-dc-to-support-trumps-claims-of-voter-fraud Source: PA Images

1pm EST (6pm Irish time)

A joint session of Congress begins, presided over by Vice-President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. The sitting is to certify the results of the Electoral College votes.

Shortly beforehand, Pence circulated a letter in which he made clear he would defy Trump’s request to overturn the election result and continue with proceedings as planned.

congress-electoral-college Source: PA Images

Throughout the morning, a small crowd is gathered at the Capitol building. This starts to swell in size.

trump-supporters-protest-the-electoral-votes-count-cetification Source: PA Images

u-s-washington-d-c-trump-supporters-demonstration Source: PA Images

2pm to 3pm EST (7pm to 9pm Irish time)

Protests break through barricades – in some cases, the barricades appear to have been removed for them – and rush security to occupy the steps of the US Capitol building.

dc-trumpos-activist-during-a-rally-save-america-march-in-dc Source: PA Images

electoral-college-photo-gallery Source: PA Images

trump-supporters-protest-on-captiol-hill-washington Source: PA Images

Protesters and police clash outside the building.

trump-supporters-storm-us-capitol Source: PA Images

Politicians are rushed to a secure location.

dc-members-of-congress-evacuated-as-pro-trump-protestors-storm-the-us-capitol-building Source: PA Images

The crowd continues to grow in size, and many gain access to the building itself.

electoral-college-protests Source: PA Images

protesters-storm-the-capitol Source: PA Images

ny-pro-trump-supporters-breach-the-u-s-capitol-building Source: PA Images

Trump tweets for protesters to support law enforcement.

A shelter-in-place order is issued for those in the Capitol building, with many donning ‘escape hoods’ after police use tear gas within the building.

electoral-college-photo-gallery Source: PA Images

Security barricade themselves into the House Chamber as protesters attempt to gain access – one Trump supporter is shot.

electoral-college-photo-gallery Source: PA Images

3pm to 4pm EST (8pm to 10pm Irish time)

Protesters continue making their way through the building, occupying the Senate chamber and breaking into offices. A curfew of 6pm is announced.

pro-trump-protest-at-the-u-s-capitol Source: PA Images

ny-pro-trump-supporters-breach-the-u-s-capitol-building Source: PA Images

trump-supporters-storm-us-capitol Source: PA Images

Protesters are cleared from the chambers – and, crucially, security is able to protect the electoral college ballots.

congress-electoral-college Source: PA Images

Political leaders appeal for calm.

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The National Guard is mobilised during this time.

4pm to 5pm EST (9pm to 10pm Irish time)

President-Elect Joe Biden addresses the nation:

It is insurrection. The world is watching — and like so many other Americans, I am shocked and saddened that our nation, so long a beacon of light, hope, and democracy has come to such a dark moment.

PastedImage-66595 Source: The Guardian News/YouTube

President Trump publishes a video message, which is seen as doing little to quell the violence It is later removed by Twitter and Facebook.

“Go home, we love you, you’re very special,” he tells protesters.

PastedImage-81091 Source: Sky News/YouTube

Protesters are cleared from the building as heavily armed security arrive.

joint-session-of-congress-assembes-to-certify-the-2020-presidential-election Source: PA Images

pro-trump-protest-in-washington-us-06-jan-2021 Source: PA Images

ny-pro-trump-riot-in-washington-dc Source: PA Images

trump-supporters-storm-us-capitol Source: PA Images

The remaining seat in the Georgia race is called for Jon Ossoff, securing the Democrat’s control of both the House and Congress.

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That evening and overnight…

Many Trump supporters remain in the area.

ny-pro-trump-riot-in-washington-dc Source: PA Images

trump-supporters-storm-us-capitol Source: PA Images

Once the Capitol is cleared, politicians are permitted to return to the chamber and continue with the certification of electoral college votes.

congress-electoral-college Source: J. Scott Applewhite

Outside, with the 6pm EST (11pm Irish time) curfew in effect, there are further tense scenes between protesters and police.

ny-pro-trump-riot-in-washington-dc Source: PA Images

This process continues well into the night, ultimately leading to Joe Biden being formally confirmed as the next president of the United States.

congress-ratifies-biden-electoral-college-votes-washington Source: PA Images

About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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