Washington, Jan 4 (EFE).- The Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the United States Capitol, like the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is a notorious event that Americans of all political stripes will not soon forget.
In shocking scenes captured on live television, a mob of hundreds of supporters of then-President Donald Trump breached the Capitol building while a joint session of the US Congress was being held to certify then-President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
As the one-year anniversary nears, six American voters – three Democrats and three Republicans – spoke to Efe about their recollections of that fateful day.
CHASTITY BOWICK, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS Democratic voter. Executive director of the Transgender Emergency Fund of Massachusetts.
Bowick, who was working from home, said she watched the riot unfold on television during her lunch break.
“To see this assault happen to US property gave me less hope when it comes to the advancement of the transgender movement in the United States,” she lamented. “Because if they will allow this to happen on United States property, without remorse, we can only imagine what is going to continue to happen to people like me in my community.
ALICE PARKIN, ASHBURN, VIRGINIA Republican voter. Housewife and mother of five children. Member of the Mormon Church.
The 57-year-old woman said she first heard the news on the radio and was in disbelief when she turned on the television.
“I couldn’t believe that I was seeing the destruction that was happening … the crowd and the glass being broken, the doors broken into, the Capitol being breached and broken into. This is a building I love. It’s sacred, it’s important to us,” said Parkin, who told Efe she had voted for Biden in November 2020 because she believed Trump was too polarizing.
ROSA VERGIL GARCIA, DENVER, COLORADO Democratic voter. Co-founder of Una Mano, Una Esperanza, an organization that provides support to Hispanic immigrants who have been victims of domestic violence and other crimes.
“We saw what happened in January (2021) in Washington DC. And I think it’s something that shouldn’t happen again,” said the 60-year-old Vergil Garcia.
She sees civic formation as key to that goal and said a better understanding of and greater participation in US politics by Hispanics will help reduce the possibility of these types of disturbances.
RAY BACA, EL PASO, TEXAS Republican voter. A retiree who formerly worked at a property management company.
Baca, 70, said the events of Jan. 6, 2021, should not be termed an assault on the Capitol or an “insurrection” but rather a protest that spun out of control.
Recalling that a large group of Trump’s supporters were in Washington that day for his “Stop the Steal” rally, he said that after listening to the then-president’s speech “they marched to the Capitol to express their reservations about the election.”
Baca said only a “half-dozen, perhaps a dozen people” were responsible for that day’s violence, which resulted in the deaths of five people.
MARIA ASPIAZU, ORANGE, CALIFORNIA Democratic voter. A native of Ecuador who lives with her husband and children in Orange.
The 52-year-old woman said the events of Jan. 6 brought back memories of other instances of political violence in recent decades in Latin America.
“I couldn’t believe they assaulted the Capitol because the United States had always represented more stability,” Aspiazu said.
FLOYD R. PELLHAM, TUCSON, ARIZONA Republican voter. Vietnam War veteran.