‘Storm The Capitol’ Was Used 100,000 Times On Social Media In Month Before Riot

by : Cameron Frew on : 11 Jan 2021 11:21
'Storm The Capitol' Was Used 100,000 Times On Social Media In Month Before RiotPA

In the month leading up to the pro-Trump riot at Washington’s Capitol building, the phrase ‘Storm the Capitol’ was used 100,000 times online.

Aside from criticism of the outgoing POTUS for inciting the chaos on January 6, one of the fiercest takeaways from the riot was the spotty response of law enforcement across the board, particularly when contrasted with 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests.


Over the past week, authorities and social media sleuths have been investigating how the siege came to fruition, with many findingit had been organised weeks in advance, with the phrase ‘Storm the Capitol’ used hundreds of thousands of times.

President Trump delivers remarks to supporters in DC to support Trump's claims of voter fraudPA Images

According to Zignal Labs, a media insights company, ‘Storm the Capitol’ was mentioned 100,000 times on social media in the 30 days preceding the riot, The New York Times reports.

Plans and ambitions for January 6 were shared in many corners of the internet. For example, on The Donald forum, a large number of posts are said to have discussed storming the federal building and bringing weapons to the event.


One post reportedly read: ‘I’m thinking it will be literal war on that day. Where we’ll storm offices and physically remove and even kill all the D.C. traitors and reclaim the country.’

Another read: ‘ARMED WITH RIFLE, HANDGUN, 2 KNIVES AND AS MUCH AMMO AS YOU CAN CARRY.’ A third read: ‘This is America. F*ck D.C. it’s in the Constitution. Bring your goddamn guns.’

DC: Trump’s activist during a rally Save America March in DCPA Images

On Parler, a ‘free speech’ social platform which has since been removed from Apple and Google due to it being used to organise the siege, Proud Boy Joe Biggs earlier said: ‘Watch out, January 6 — you ain’t gonna know who the f*ck it is standing beside you.’


On the eve of the riot, former national security adviser Michael Flynn told a crowd, as per the Times: ‘The members of the House… the members of the US Senate, those of you who are feeling weak tonight, those of you that don’t have the moral fiber in your body, get some tonight. Because tomorrow, we the people are going to be here and we want you to know we will not stand for a lie.’

Before the riot, Trump even addressed a crowd of supporters at the Ellipse, telling them: ‘We fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore. So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue… and we’re going to the Capitol.’

NY: Pro-Trump riot in Washington DCPA Images

With preparation taking place for weeks, even excluding the president’s direct rhetoric prior to and on the day, many have wondered how police forces weren’t prepared.


Monica Hopkins, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in DC, said, ‘For any law enforcement agency in this city to say they were caught flat-footed or they didn’t know what was coming is just incredibly false,’ CNN reports.

Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund resigned following the mayhem, which saw the death of five people, including one police officer.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: News, Capitol, Now, Police, Riots, Social Media, US, washington


The New York Times and 1 other
  1. The New York Times

    ‘Our President Wants Us Here’: The Mob That Stormed the Capitol

  2. CNN

    DC police made far more arrests at the height of Black Lives Matter protests than during the Capitol clash