Washington goes into lockdown as police remove rioters from Capitol building

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a curfew as police worked to expel pro-Trump rioters from the building

Trump supporters face off with police and security forces in front of the US Capitol in Washington D.C on January 6, 2021.   Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the a 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. / AFP / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS
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Washington, DC, went into lockdown Wednesday evening as police started to remove rioters loyal to President Donald Trump from the US Capitol building.

“During the curfew, no one is allowed to be outside in public places other than essential workers,” DC Mayor Muriel Bowser told reporters. “The behaviour that we are witnessing is harmful, unpatriotic and above all it is unlawful.

“Anyone who engages in these activities, continues to engage in these activities will be held accountable. There will be law and order and this behaviour will not be tolerated.”

The curfew will last from 6pm to 6am and non-essential workers who venture outside their homes during those hours are subject to arrest.

Ms Bowser dispatched local police to assist the Capitol Hill police force in their efforts to remove the pro-Trump rioters who had stormed the building, interrupting a joint session of Congress as it debated certifying the election results and formalising president-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

She also activated the Washington, DC, National Guard. As the mayor spoke, FBI agents entered the Capitol Hill complex to expel the rioters.

The riot began after Mr Trump held a rally in front of thousands of his supporters to make his oft-repeated unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud. While Mr Trump ultimately told his supporters to leave the building after several hours via video on Twitter, he spent most of the video repeating those same allegations regarding the election.

Ms Bowser last instated a curfew and called up the National Guard at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests in June.