Local elected leaders reflect on unprecedented invasion of the capitol building

Political News

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- A day that started with a massive Pro-Trump demonstration, turned into a destructive invasion of the capitol building.

“Even during the civil war, even during the 9/11 crisis, we never had our our American capitol attacked this directly,” said John Baick, History Professor at Western New England University.

“This was an invasion, but it was a small invasion. In some respects, this belongs in a long American history of political violence.”

Congressman Richard Neal’s office is at the federal courthouse on State Street, but he was in the Capitol building Wednesday as the protests and violence unfolded. He described to 22News what he experienced there.

“I could see the situation was quickly spiraling out of control,” said Neal. “And as I went to the window, there they were, they were literally pounding on the windows. I went back last evening and the window was smashed right through.”

Congressman Neal said they used a conference table as a barricade, before being hurried to a safe location by capitol police.

“It was pretty harrowing for a good half hour to 45 minutes and finally the capitol police said to me, ‘you need to cover your face’, even though we had face masks on, because tear gas is in the hallways.”

Senator Ed Markey also shared his nerve-racking experience.

Markey said, “Over the intercom there was an announcement with a woman’s voice saying, ‘The capitol is under assault. We should lock our doors immediately.’ “From my perspective it was just anger that this was taking place, while at the same time making sure my staff was going to be protected.”

Both Markey and Neal now are concerned about the inauguration for president-elect Joe Biden and are hoping security will be bolstered even further

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