Anniversary of January 6 Assault on the Capitol in Washington, DC

January 6 marked the first anniversary of the violent assault on the Capitol building in Washington, DC by supporters of former President Donald Trump. They claimed that Trump had won the election and that it had been stolen by Joe Biden. Many challenges to the elections had been organized through the courts and in protests to contest the choice of Biden for president, claiming he did not win the majority of votes.

Seven people, including police officers, died during and after the unprecedented incursion into the Houses of Congress where acts of vandalism and violence occurred. An FBI investigation has led to criminal charges laid against 725 people who participation in the riot. New reports quote U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland saying that more than 325 of those rioters face felony charges and that he also vowed to hold all "perpetrators" accountable. A parallel investigation in the House of Representatives is looking at what Trump and his allies knew before and on January 6 as well as whether Trump stood by and did nothing as the riot unfolded. In this regard, Garland suggested organizers of the riot could also be held to account. 

All of it reveals the extent to which conflicts among the rulers and the oligopolies they serve are sharpening over control of the presidential powers. All of them are appealing to the people to join their side to save the U.S. democracy and uphold the Constitution. The people are supposed to forget about their own conditions and reality and those of the country and people and resign themselves to the state of anarchy and violence which prevails.

A recent survey reported that 40 per cent of people in the U.S. have no trust in the electoral system. It confirms that the crisis of credibility and legitimacy in which the U.S. democracy is mired is deepening. Many people point out that elections are always "stolen" by big money because it requires millions of dollars to run for office. The electoral system is stacked against ordinary working families, they say. Elected representatives of both parties are mostly beholden to the moneyed interests and are not accountable to electors, they add. Many people are calling for electoral reforms such as public funding of the electoral process, online voting, direct democracy and other such things.

Meanwhile, the U.S. death toll due to COVID-19 has reached 840,000 with nearly 60 million confirmed cases. The seven-day average of daily new cases in the first week of January is 586,391, an 85.7 per cent increase from the previous week. Prices of food and necessities are rising rapidly and there are serious problems in the supply chain due to shortages of workers caused by the pandemic, while the concentration of wealth in fewer hands is leading to the impoverishment of farmers.

News reports also inform that Dr. Peter Hotez and Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi of the Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine and their research team have produced a very inexpensive vaccine without recourse to any federal funding. The researchers said that if they had received funding they would have developed the vaccine earlier. They have given the technology to several countries in Asia and Africa without any patent. Hotez also called for decolonizing technology. Big Pharma companies are using it to maximize their profits, risking the lives of hundreds of millions of people, he said.

In related news, it is reported that Irene Bosch, an MIT scientist and her team made a very simple test for COVID-19 in March 2020 which was not approved by the FDA. She points out that the test would cost 50 cents and could be produced in the millions very quickly. The tests that the U.S. government is supporting and distributing cost people $25 for two tests. The situation is untenable and everyone knows it.

(Photo: T. Jane)

This article was published in

Volume 52 Number 1 - January 9, 2022

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