EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – It’s been one year since rioters breached the capitol on January 6, 2021, and leaders from around the country and the El Paso area shared their thoughts, one year on.
On that day, Congress was in the process of counting electoral votes and formalizing President Joe Biden’s victory over Former President Donald Trump when the capitol was breached, forcing congress to evacuate.
Todd Curry, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at El Paso says that day is an example of the political divide in the country.
“I think really the biggest takeaway in the wake of the January 6 riot is…very clear how divided and divisive our politics are in current times,” said Curry.
Curry says “nothing has been done” since the riots took place, and adds that we won’t see any systematic changes to our voting system before the 2022 elections.
16th Congressional District Representative Veronica Escobar was in the gallery at the capitol the day of the breach, taking cover. As it turned out, she was among the last members of Congress and members of the press to be evacuated that day.
“I still feel terror, but the terror I feel is for our democracy. I really truly feel that this is the year that we either continue to maintain our democracy, or we lose it and congress has to act. And while the house of representatives has acted the senate has not, the senate has really failed. We have to hold them accountable we have to push them,” said Escobar.
Escobar vividly remembers what it was like as she was in the gallery as the rioters made their way inside the capitol.
Escobar added that she hasn’t gotten any information from the FBI about the investigation into El Pasoans who participated in the breach of the capitol.
“I know that there were El Pasoans who were here at the rally. Now I will tell you participating in the rally is one thing, but I also know there were members of our community who breached the capitol and were inside the capitol that day,” said Escobar.
Representative for the 23rd district Tony Gonzales was also inside the gallery the day of the breach.
Gonzales can be seen in photos helping to barricade the door. Congressman Gonzales sent KTSM 9 News the following statement on the one-year anniversary.
Throughout the day, many gathered to remember the events of January 6. President Biden warned of the dangers from former President Trump and his supporters.
The president forcefully blamed Donald Trump and his supporters Thursday for holding a “dagger at the throat of democracy” with election lies that sparked last year’s deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol, using the anniversary of the attack to warn that America’s system of government remains under urgent threat.
For his part, the former president and his allies on Thursday clung to false claims about the 2020 election and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot as the nation marked the one-year anniversary of the violent insurrection.