Businessinsider.co.za | A year after Capitol riot, experts warn more political extremism, violence may be on horizon in 2022


Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people attempt to destroy the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington.

Photos by Brent Stirton / Getty

  • The country commemorated the first year of the assassination plot on January 6 earlier this month.
  • But experts say the cause of the unrest in the Capitol has not stopped this year.
  • “I want to be real with people – we have a hard time,” said Eric Ward, an extremist.
  • For more information go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

As a first memorial to the dead January 6 Capitol attack arrived earlier this month, the country highlighted what happened and its challenges that occurred during the year.

An activist told Insider that historians could look back on the siege – which saw Trump’s militia group attack the Capitol in an attempt to block the 2020 election campaign – as the beginning of the American terrorist era. characterized by civil unrest and increased elevation of the right wing.

Some say January 6 will be remembered as a way to connect the future of American democracy.

But one thing has been known to all experts in the last year – political unrest continues.

“I think what historians have understood is that the January 6 attacks did not end on January 6,” Eric Ward, a senior Western States Center official and senior counterpart at the Southern Poverty Law Center, told Insider.

And experts’ view of the recurring collapse of the siege is not particularly encouraging.

“I want to be real with people – we have tough days,” Ward said.

The number of terrorists since the attack has made it increasingly difficult to counteract the extremes

Since January 6, 2021, government officials have been working to arrest and punish perpetrators of domestic violence. The federal government said arrested more than 730 people according to the attack that left five people dead and more than 100 police officers were injured.

But the dangerous habit of conspiracy theories and lies surrounding the event alola repeated history of attacks to create shape – encouraged by one of the most powerful political groups in particular, according to Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism.

“Increasing levels of violence as Proud Boys and Keepers of the Oath “It is unquestionable and extremely difficult,” Beirich told Insider.

In December Research from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst found that nearly a third of Republicans believe that US President Joe Biden was not officially elected to the White House – a staggering number considering the population. election experts, government agencies, and Trump supporters who contradict common claims from time to time.

A recent Research from The Washington Post and the University of Maryland it also provides a cause for concern – 40 percent of Republicans think that brutal violence may sometimes make sense.

For the past year, top Republican lawmakers have participated further refusal January 6, he says conspiracy theories, and, in particular, declined to take part in the Bipartisan congression committee.

“Terrorism makes it extremely difficult to resist,” Beirich said. “You have one group that says this is dangerous and we need to take action, while the other group says it is dangerous. guests only on January 6. ”

The lasting effects of the Republican ideology after the Capitol siege continue to reduce violence. According to Beirich, the party now appears to be moving on a new disruptive mission: disrupting the US electoral system.

This further, according to Ward, who also claimed that the violence that took place on January 6 is an attempt to disrupt the American vote.

“A few thousand people were about to undermine a large part of American democracy, and that strengthened the foundation,” he said. “Republican politicians are realizing it.”

Jessica Huseman, editor-in-chief of Votebeat, said the Republican Party had actively made electoral security a “matter of life or death” after January 6. Democrats, however, did not rise to meet them by offering the same zeal on the topic, he. he said.

“I have very little patience because of the lack of progress that has taken place even though Democrats are in control … government,” Huseman told Insider.

Most of the voting laws passed and passed by Democrats in the federal and federal government since last year’s attack focused on issues such as gerrymandering, or electoral fraud, Huseman said.

“These things are important, but at the end of the day, if we allow January 6 to go through the whole year without addressing the root causes of this problem, I think we have failed,” he said.

A man is seen hanging outside the Capitol.

Alan Chin for Insider

The root cause of this problem is likely to return to Trump’s “Big Lie”.

The fraudulent idea of ​​voters during the American election has been the subject of constant debate in the Republican Party for many years, according to Huseman, but Trump was the first to make it an encouraging issue.

Even before the 2020 election, Trump became his most influential leader propagating the idea that American elections are not free or fair. Only his insistence encouragement as it became clear that Biden should beat him in the November election, as well as in Trump fix with “Big Lie” that he won the election was very impressed with Biden’s victory.

Former President he repeated what he had said during the speech gave a presentation at the “Stop the Steal” meeting prior to the January 6 attack, and will continue to push for ideas during the year.

“For democracy to work, most groups must agree that you can lose and fight and win one day,” Beirich said, “and now Trump has removed that belief.”

Trump’s lie has undoubtedly had lasting consequences for Republican party members – millions of them believe Biden should not be President – exactly what Ward is worried about, nothing to do.

“It’s a lie that has led to the brutality and aggression that exists in the US,” Ward said.

“But it is not about liberating Republicans who, many, for no apparent reason, have been deceived,” he said. “This is about expelling some Americans from that lie.”

Americans are worried that more violence could come, and experts agree

More than half of Americans believe a Capitol-like attack will happen again, according to the latest Axios poll. Ward and Beirich said it was possible.

“I do not know how things like this can get out of hand, but I think there will be clashes,” Beirich said.

Ward predicted that 2022 would lead to more acts of hostility, attacks on elected officials and government officials, and threats to continue teachers and medical personnel.

But the “real war” in the coming year, he said, will affect elections. With mid-2022 elections at hand Trump laughs at a possible 2024 campaign, a review of January 6 may come soon.

“It is possible that we may find ourselves back at this point within a year or two,” Ward said.

Beirich also reported on domestic violence incidents that took place in mid-2018, including Pittsburgh Tree of Life attack and a shooting at Tallahassee yoga studio, as indications of what the upcoming elections could start later this year.

“The American people do not understand how weak our democracy is at the moment,” Beirich said.

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as a mob storms the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Photo courtesy of Brent Stirton / Getty Images

Although fears came on January 6, Ward said the day was once again showing hope

“January 6 also marks the day the American people began to defend their democracy,” he said, adding that much work was needed to achieve this.

Strong ideas from religious and religious leaders, as well as politicians who oppose violent crime, are a way to stem the tide of violent escalation, all experts say.

Ward and Beirich also said social networking sites they have an important role to play in the fight against extremists.

“Social media can stop allowing these ideas to flourish,” Beirich said. “The same is true Fox News. “

Democrats’ move on the problematic voting law, as well as the government’s economy that targets local governments that fight terrorist groups, could also help.

“We want to redesign the system,” Beirich said. “We must try to get back all the bad things that Trump did in our system.”

But the most important protection against extremism in the US, according to Ward and Beirich, is with Americans every day.

“Vote for people who do not destroy our system,” Beirich said.

People should show that extremism is condemned; that people are fighting for democracy, Ward added.

“What needs to be done is to stop this deception that we are losing,” he said. “The idea that democracy is lost is in the hands of insurgents. Democracy is not lost.

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