The 2021 far right storming of the United States Capitol
On January 6, 2021, a mob of far-right protesters broke through the weak police cordon and illegally entered the US Capitol. Here's an overview of analyses of the attack by C-REX scholars and members of our advisory board.
Supporters of Donald Trump at a campaign rally at the South Point Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Gage Skidmore
Creeping Fascism in America
In this blog post, C-REX scholar Cathrine Thorleifsson explains why the January 6 attack on the US Capitol was not unexpected. According to Thorleifsson, it was anticipated by numerous warning signs, and it built upon a years-long process of radicalization that involves, but is not limited to, Trump supporters.
The crucial role of the internet and world wide web
In this blog post, Brian Hughes, Associate Director of the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lan (PERIL) at American University in Washington, DC, discusses the relationship between 'the storm' and 'the web'. He argues that the increasing collaboration among disparate far-right tendencies in the US, as observed on January 6th, is closely related to the very core technological features of the internet and world wide web.
The far-right attack in a comparative perspective
In his op-ed in The Guardian, 'What happened in Washington DC is happening around the world', adjunct professor at C-REX and the author of Far Right in America (Routledge, 2018) and Far Right Today (Polity, 2019), Cas Mudde, writes that similar "far right attempts to storm parliaments and government offices have happened in Germany and the Netherlands in recent years". He concludes that "it is time to stand up to the far right and for liberal democracy. It is time to call out the racism and undemocratic discourses and behaviors of the far right. And it is time to clearly and openly reject the toxic narrative of white victimhood".
The mainstreaming of far-right ideas
In this video interview with DW News, member of our advisory board and the author of the recent book Hate in the Homeland (Princeton University Press, 2020), Cynthia Miller-Idriss, explains how there is a broader far-right coalition openly advocating for civil war.
Also, check out this discussion, hosted by William Brangham from PBS News Hour, on the threat from right-wing extremism with Miller-Idriss and another leading scholar of extremism, J. M. Berger. Miller-Idriss points out that "what we have seen for several years now has been a mainstreaming and a normalization of extremist ideas and a lot of dog-whistle kinds of calls, like the stand back, stand by statement, that, even if the intent isn't there, it's received."
Consequences of de-platforming
Another member of our advisory board and leading expert on violent extremism online, Maura Conway, provides insightful reflections in this Twitter thread regarding whether de-platforming make Trump and the far-right vanish, move, or radicalize further.
Where do we go from here?
With the siege on the U.S. Capitol Building, right-wing extremists with disparate agendas and goals seized a political opportunity to move into violent action and accelerate social chaos. While there are still many unknowns, one of the leading experts of white supremacy in the US and member of our advisory board, Kathleen Blee, presents six questions in this blog post, which are likely to be key to what will happen in the U.S. in the near future.
Other interviews (in Norwegian)
- Researcher believes the storming has inspired other right-wing extremists (Thorleifsson in NRK.no)
- United front for the first time in a long time (Thorleifsson in Morgenbladet)
- Several of the activists storming the Congress inspired by Christian nationalists (Thorleifsson in Vårt Land)
- Researcher fears that Norwegian right-wing extremists become inspired by the riots in the US (Thorleifsson in Forskning.no)
- In the US, there are 200 armed militias. The whole country is preparing for bloody uprisings. (Thorleifsson in Nettavisen)
- More dangerous than neo-Nazis (Emberland in Dagbladet)