Many have described the events of January 6th as an Insurrection. Some have said it was more serious than 9/11. Many participants have been arrested and charged with major crimes, and many are incarcerated now awaiting trial.
Others compare it to the protests that occurred throughout the U.S., starting in May of 2020 and ask why the reaction is so much different. In 2020, thousands of stores and shops were looted and burned. Dozens of people were killed or injured. Occupied buildings were burned with a stated intent to kill the occupants. Bricks were brought in by the pallet load, and thrown at police officers along with frozen water bottles and exploding fireworks. Police cars were vandalized and burned.
In the case of Seattle, 6 whole city blocks were cordoned off and police weren't allowed inside. Seattle Police relinquished control and access to their East Precinct, which was inside this zone taken over by the protesters. The protestors called it an Autonomous Zone. The Seattle Police received a report of a shooting, but couldn't get permission to enter this Autonomous Zone from the protestors, to help the injured party or to gather evidence. The injured party died shortly after the police were denied entrance.
Damage in the 20 states hit hardest by the protests was estimated at $1-2 Billion in the first 3 weeks alone. Wikipedia estimates 15 to 26 million people participated in the protests. The AP estimated a total of 10,000 arrests, but the Washington Post put the number at 14,000. Using the higher estimate in each case suggests that 1 out of each 1,857 protestors was arrested. Division tells us that $142,857 in damage was caused for each arrest. Estimates vary, but most sources state that 90% of the charges were dropped. That would mean just under $1.5 Million in damages were caused for each person charged ($1,428,570 to be exact). Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris raised bail money for those whose charges were not dropped.
For comparison, the January 6th "Insurrection" caused $1.5 Million in damages. Wikipedia states approximately 800 people entered the capitol. The DOJ states they have charged 535 of those people and plan on charging 300 more. In essence, a 100% charge rate. That would mean $1,875 of damage for each person charged (compared to $1,428,570 for each person charged in the protests).
Why did the protestors riot, loot and burn? Anger over racism, police brutality, George Floyd's death, etc. The 2 groups most associated with the protests were the left leaning BLM and Antifa. Why did the Insurrectionists storm the Capitol? Anger over Trump's defeat. It is hard not to conclude that the political leanings of the different groups influenced how the authorities responded.
Some commentators have stated the January 6th event was much more serious than the protests, because it was an attack on democracy itself, whereas the protestors were exercising their constitutional right to protest, and for a very important cause.
I don't think the protestors actions justified the January 6th event. No, I condemn both. I think all protestors should get a permit, as required by law, for large gatherings on public property. They should not block traffic. Blocking traffic may prevent somebody from reaching emergency medical aid, and certainly stops people from earning a living. No protestor has the right to do that. And no protestor has the right to loot, burn and vandalize. No exceptions. No matter the sincerity of their belief or the importance of their cause.
Likewise, nobody has the right to storm the Capitol. Period. No exceptions.
But I vehemently disagree with those that state the storming of the Capitol was somehow worse than the rioting. They are both equally deplorable. But to state the storming of the Capitol was worse, is to imply that the members of Congress are superior to the shopkeeper whose business was destroyed. More important than the truck drivers who were not able to earn money to pay their bills or get valuable freight to its destination, because the freeway was shutdown and the trucks couldn't move. More urgent than the parent trying to get emergency aid for their child gasping to breathe. More important than the wife in premature labor about to lose the baby they already love more than life itself.
We don't believe in royalty in America. We are all equal. And Congress, and the American way exists to provide freedom and protection to the individual. Congress is the servant of the people. Leaving these people to fend for themselves, as their business's burned, as their shops were looted, as their means of travel was blocked is a failure of America. Allowing the mob to suspend freedom and deprive the people of the fruit of their labors was just wrong. It is a stain on our country, that our law enforcement, as ordered by the civilian mayors the police answer to, left these people at the mercy of the mob.
Reasonable people can see the message that was sent, by law enforcement as they stood by doing nothing. The clear message was: If you feel strongly, if your cause is important to you, you can act out, you can break the law. You can vandalize.
How can anybody be surprised when other angry people, after watching protestors get away with rioting and looting all summer long, decided to vent their frustration by storming the Capitol? They obviously thought they would be given the same treatment as the protestors, as they made no effort to even hide their faces.
Had the Authorities treated the summer riots with the same vigor they have given the January 6th event, the so-called Insurrection would have never occurred. This is not a call for leniency for the Insurrectionists, this is a statement that the same level of enforcement should have been in force all summer during the protests.
If you want Law and Order, ENFORCE THE LAW, for EVERYBODY. Not just the Trump supporters.