Security forces respond after the US President Donald Trump’s supporters breached the US Capitol security in Washington DC, US on January 6, 2021. Pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol as lawmakers were set to sign off Wednesday on President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory in what was supposed to be a routine process headed to Inauguration Day. Photo: AFP
Imagine if the Capitol riots took place in a country whose government the US is hostile toward, the following is probably how US media would have reported it.
The US, a former British colony, has just ended a turbulent year. The US government seems to be hanging by a thread.
When lawmakers on Wednesday met to confirm the president-elect’s win, the incumbent president’s supporters rallied in Washington DC from all over the country in an attempt to uphold the fairness and impartiality of the election, defend democracy and protest against election fraud.
When these protesters breached the Capitol to prevent the certification of the election, they clashed with police. The latter drew their guns and used tear gas to clear the Capitol of demonstrators. Unfortunately, it resulted in the deaths of four protesters and a police officer, and the arrests of 52 people. Among the dead protesters, one woman, a former US soldier, was shot. Amid a rocky time of a power transition, the incident has escalated the unease in Washington.
Policing in the US has been controversial. In this country where racial discrimination is rampant, police abuses of power have become common. In the Wednesday incident, US police cracked down on the freedom and human rights of ordinary Americans. US police brutality should be condemned and the US government should investigate them.
But the international community witnessed how bold the US protesters were in the face of police brutality. They are champions of democracy and presented the world with a beautiful sight to behold.
The international community is also seeing this incident with great concern. The UK, the former colonial power, continues to keep an eye on this country and denounced the moves of US police. Leaders of other Western countries condemned the US and urged Washington to respect the will of the people and release the arrested protesters as soon as possible.
Some analysts said the chaos was a result of grave divisions in US society. Some Americans and British believe even though the US has been independent from the UK for over 200 years, the US government is still incapable of independently governing this country. Americans cannot be granted the rights and freedom they deserve and democracy and rule of law have been violated.
Yet US politicians, in a bid to safeguard their governance and political interests, spare no effort to blame the UK’s interference in their internal affairs.
Democracy defenders must solidify to sanction such moves of the US. The international community has warned Washington that the abuse of guns will expose Americans to the risk of political violence. In response, other countries should reduce the exports of firearms to the US. Furthermore, toward those police and officials participating in preventing the protesters, we should freeze their US assets and impose a visa ban on them. It is expected more like-minded countries will join to stand up with these democratic heroes.
Of course, what has been said in the above paragraphs is just a hypothesis.
Since the incident took place in the US, the riots were not “a beautiful sight to behold,” and it is the protesters, not the police, who received harsh criticism from most US mainstream media outlets and political elites. The demonstrators have not been portrayed as “champion of democracy,” but “those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol.” This is US blatant double standards.