Returning Label writer Katrina Maria Sweeney analyses the differences in treatment of the domestic terrorists who stormed the Capitol on 6th January and those who (majority peacefully) protested in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.

There is a stark contrast between the Pro-Trump riots and BLM protests, regarding media representation, languages security, and police handling.

Recently, domestic terrorists breached the US governmental building, the Capitol, following the confirmation of Biden’s electoral win. It has been noted by many people that there has been a stark difference between the treatment and reception of the terrorist attack on the Capitol and those who (majority peacefully) protested in support of the Black Lives Matter movement – a long-term movement advocating for racial equality and human rights, where recent protests began in the wake of George Floyd’s killing.

The differences between the Pro-Trump riots and BLM protests primarily involve the treatment and response of police and security upon each group. It became evident that Capitol rallies were met with a significantly differing policing response, whereby hundreds of Trump supporters charged their way into the Capitol, following Trump’s loss in the presidential election. This violent attack involved; the beating of police officers, the death of a police officer, significant displays of violence, the removal of all panic buttons intended to keep congress safe, defacing statues, and smashing doors whereby the mostly white attackers were also seen to be taking selfies, revelling in their actions and stealing souvenirs.

Shockingly, we saw police officers who aided and participated in the insurrection, through video evidence of a police officer taking a selfie with one of the terrorists, another police officer directing people around, and with other police officers moving out of the terrorist’s way and ignoring their verbally abusive remarks – ultimately being complicit, or even enabling this attack to continue, leaving them to their own devices instead of making arrests. Numerous people have displayed their uproar, from political leaders such as President-Elect Joe Biden, community organisers such as Shaun King, and citizens globally who have recognised that if this attack was carried about by BLM protesters, the response would have been far more violent and active.

Some of the notable differences were that at the BLM protests, many social media users shared their experiences of being tear-gassed and physically beat up, with many arrests and brutal acts displayed. Therefore, the alarming response to those who are fighting for their lives, or other’s lives, advocating simply for human rights and equality, in comparison to supremacists who are protesting against the loss of their favoured president, it is difficult to see such incomparable issues being met with differing leniency and treatment.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, we saw Trump commending his supporters who stormed the Capitol, expressing understanding for their actions, meanwhile he previously called the BLM protesters ‘thugs’, and demonised their actions. The difference treatment between white supremacists storming a capital compared to a diverse ethnic group of people protesting for their lives or the lives and equality of others is disturbing and racially provoked. Following the attack, we have begun to see some arrests occurring of the terrorists and officers involved in the Capitol attack, and whilst this action is definitely delayed, and questionably so, it is a positive step to see action being taken. Thus, we hope events like this can be prevented from occurring, and that justice and equality treatment of all, can be achieved.

Edited by Izzie Naish – News Editor

Header by Christos Alamaniotis – Head of Design


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