Prime minister, foreign minister condemn US Capitol mob invasion

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U.S. Capitol in Washington.
U.S. Capitol in Washington. Source: Martin Falbisoner/Wikimedia Commons

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) and Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) have condemned Wednesday's storming of the United States Congress by an armed mob claiming support for sitting President Donald Trump (R).

Jüri Ratas tweeted just before 1.00 a.m. Thursday, Estonian time, that the scenes had been shocking, but he was confident in U.S. democracy and the rule of law in withstanding the attack, in which a woman was reportedly shot dead.

Reinsalu wrote on his social media account a little before midnight Wednesday, Estonian time, that: "The events in Washington are extremely worrying. I am sure that U.S. democracy will resolve this situation in a manner governed by the rule of law. Any attempt to disrupt the democratic process by force is not acceptable."

Reinsalu also tweeted in English that while the situation was worrying, he, too, had full confidence in the rule of law and the democratic process in the U.S.

The foreign minister also advised Estonian citizens in Washington to avoid any public gatherings, and to follow official instructions from the authorities.

Foreign affairs ministry senior advisor Mart Luik noted on his social media account, which included an ABC video of events, that the situation had been: "Unelievable. Even in the American Civil War [of 1861-1865], legislature windows were not smashed. Now that control of the Capitol is once again in the hands of the uniform bearers and a curfew is beginning in Washington, I would like to hope that these shocking shots become a lesson for all."

MEP: Protests an inevitable backlash to media manipulation and bias, will continue for foreseeable

Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) MEP Jaak Madison took a different line, saying the incident was a turning point, and the inevitable result of media manipulation and bias which would have long-term repercussions both in the U.S. and worldwide.

Madison wrote early Thursday morning that: "When extremists are raging in the streets of Washington the mass media says: This is so cute and nice, they are fighting for racial equality. [However], people protesting electoral fraud and mass media manipulation (for instance CNN, whose news also get copy-paste by our media propagandists) and the mass media says: This is a terrible and horrible thing, they are not respecting the democratic election results."

"Yes, it is an ugly story, which one force will retaliate again. You reap what you sow. Always."

Earlier on Madison had written on his social media account that: "We have reached a groundbreaking era, where we can only wish for strong nerves and to fasten our seat belts, since, globally speaking, the race will be very dramatic in the coming years (decade)."

An hour after Donald Trump, who has consistently claimed the November 4 2020 presidential election which returned Joe Biden (D) as president-elect had been conducted fraudulently, called for protest at the electoral college vote certification – the final act ahead of Biden's planned inauguration later this month – an armed mob stormed the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday, evading security and entering house and senate chambers and forcing legislators and staff, who had been engaged in the electoral certification process - precisely the activity demonstrators were likely aiming to obstruct - to flee.

Following a contested result in the State of Georgia, a run-off vote has given one Senator spot to a Democrat, the Reverend Raphael Warnock, with the other seat likely to go to Jon Ossoff, also a Democrat. This means the Senate will now be under Democratic control, rather than Republican as had been the case earlier.

Shots have been fired in the course of the events, during which a woman was reportedly shot dead. As of Thursday morning, Estonian time, AP had reported a total of four deaths related to the incident. Reports also said at least one explosive device had been found at the scene.

The mob carried flags, banners and clothes proclaiming their support for Trump, with at least one pictured carrying a late civil war-era Confederate battle flag, and while armed security forces were present, only some have been detained. Protestors gained entry to the Capitol, with photographs circling in the media showing them entering the office of Nancy Pelosi and claiming other prizes. Tear gas was later used to disperse the mob.

U.S. Secret Service personnel reportedly whisked away Trump's Vice President, Mike Pence (R), who was presiding over Senate proceedings, to a secure location, for his own safety, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris (D) are also in secure locations, it is reported. 

Over 1,000 National Guard personnel were reportedly put on active duty in regard to the situation, which many are calling a coup attempt on the part of Trump.

As of early morning Thursday, Estonian time, crowds had dispersed and Washington was reportedly on full lock-down. The congressional session halted by the protestors resumed at around 8 p.m. local time Wednesday, or 3 a.m. Estonian time Thursday.

Donald Trump called for calm, or at least non-violence, via his Twitter account, though initially had not called for protesters to disperse and is facing a backlash from members of both political parties who see him as largely instigating the incident.

He subsequently issued a video address in a now-deleted tweet, which also had its response and retweet functions disabled by the platform, calling for protestors to disperse and for peace and calm, though then reiterating that the election had been stolen from him, his party and his supporters.

Twitter removed a video-tweet from Donald Trump's official site in which he called for crowds in Washington to disperse, citing violations of terms of use. 

Trump's tweets have since November 4 as often as not been accompanied by a disclaimer from the platform saying that claims of electoral fraud are disputed and that the election results have been confirmed. This now-deleted tweet had no facility for responses, including retweets or comments, in order to preserve public safety, the platform said.

Twitter and Facebook subsequently temporarily suspended Trump's official accounts, actions which remain in force at the time of writing.

President-elect Joe Biden has appeared on TV calling for a dispersal of the mob, for President Trump to demand same, and for the democratic process to resume.

Former Republican President George W. Bush has also condemned Trump's words concerning the alleged electoral fraud, and the mob activity itself.

Other world leaders to so far have condemned the events include EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: "The results of the democratic election must be respected."

Lithuania's president, Gitanas Nauseda, tweeted that he and his country, too, believed that democratic values would prevail.

The House of Representatives and Senate certified Joe Biden's election as U.S. president, and Kamala Harris as vice president, early morning Thursday, U.S. time.

This article was updated to include comments by MEP Jaak Madison (EKRE) and foreign ministry adviser Mart Luik.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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