The Trumpist mob that descended on Washington to coerce lawmakers into illegally overturning an election in favor of its loser was shocked to meet resistance from police. Had they not been the ones waving Blue Lives Matter flags ever since Ferguson, the ones defending police every time an officer knelt on a Black neck, bodyslammed a Black teenage girl, shot a Black 12-year old boy dead on sight?
Yet on the night before the march, they found D.C. police unwilling to let them do as they like, and even skirmished with cops who blocked them from entering Black Lives Matter Plaza. Those cops seemed not to understand that MAGA were not the ones to be policed. “We don’t got your back no more!” one yelled. “We’re the business owners! We’re the veterans!”
On Wednesday afternoon, high on their own insurrectionary zeal, supplied by Donald Trump and re-upped by nationalists like Josh Hawley, they found encouraging signs. Once they reached the Capitol grounds, they encountered only flimsy-gated barricades, minimally manned by Capitol Police, and easily pushed past them. Few police they encountered on the Capitol steps, the final line of defense, were in riot gear. Some even took punches from MAGA demonstrators without returning them. There was no phalanx of armored cops forming a wall with riot shields, no unmarked federal agents stuffing MAGA rioters into vans for detention, none of the array that confronted left-wing demonstrators for Black lives this summer. What could have looked more like an invitation than such token resistance?