The Capitol Police’s sluggish reaction to the invasion of the US Senate is being heavily criticised, with witness accounts suggesting that the force took inadequate action to prevent and control one of America’s most harrowing acts of political violence.
Numerous comparisons to the aggressive tactics deployed against Black Lives Matter protestors last have seen heightened emotions across the country as the blantant discrepancies played out in real time.
The Dakota Access pipleline protests in across 2016 and 2017 have come to the forefront of this discussion. Thousands across the US fought with Native Americans to protect water running through indigenous land from being exposed to fracking, and on numerous occasions were met with jet blasts, riot gear, and assault rifles.
Twitter users are reflecting on their experiences at the Standing Rock Reservation across North and South Dakota, an area key to the grassroots movement.
From the experiences of many activists it can be seen that there’s a clear contrast.
remember that woman at standing rock who almost got her arm blown off by the national guard
— willie jack stan account (@willie jack stan account)
Never forget Standing Rock. Thanksgiving week, 2016. Nonviolent water protectors getting blasted by water cannons i… https://t.co/F9dRsUS7fW
A newly-elected President Trump failed to investigate the use of police force at that time, and instead signed an executive order to advance the construction of the very thing Native Americans were trying to protect. It later transpired he used to own stock in the company responsible for the pipeline’s construction.
With almost 500 people arrested back then in the name of protecting clean water, a fraction of this number will have have faced the same consequences for what happened this week. How are the Capitol police supposed to justify their inaction?