Topeka and Washington D.C Had a Rallies Generate Different Outcomes

Both D.C. and the Topeka Capitol had a rally on Jan. 6 orchestrated by Trump supporters.

Abbey Manzanares, Copy Editor

Across the nation, there were multiple rallies held in support of Trump with the major one being held in Washington D.C.

First Amendment

The First Amendment protects five basic rights of American citizens: freedom of religion, speech, the press, assembly, and petition. While many protesters were exercising these rights, there were multiple groups of people who pushed the limit. Many of those people went inside the DC Capitol building without going through the proper security measurements.

“Due to security rules, the Capitol does not have open admissions. A person has to go through a security screening before admissions is granted,” Charlie Appelhanz, world history teacher, said. “Therefore, forcing yourself into that building without permission is a violation of the law.”

Many people were arrested for violating the law and bringing guns into the Capitol, as well as stealing items. There were many arguments that they were exercising their First Amendment rights but once a person breaks the law those rights are no longer extended to them. The ones who remained peaceful outside the Capitol were not arrested and successfully exercised their rights. 

“They committed an act of Domestic Terrorism, so they do not have those rights extended to them,” Regan Jones, US history teacher, said. “Now, there were obliviously individuals who were at the initial protests/rally outside of the White House who were there to use their 1st Amendment Rights and were exercising them safely and fairly, we can’t group every person there as an individual who committed treason, but, those that took the action to storm the capital did.”

Topeka Rally

In support of former President Trump, there was a small, peaceful rally at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka. Although protestors did go inside the building, they went through the proper security procedures, unlike protesters in D.C. There were no rules broken and they respected authority.

“The Topeka Protest was a smaller version of the protest outside of the White House and escalated when they entered the Kansas Statehouse building itself,” Jones said. “From what I have heard, the Statehouse was open that day so you did not see the violent actions that took place in D.C. because they did not have to literally break into the building.”

The Capitol Police stated that the group had a permit to be at the Statehouse on that day and that it was a good example of what a protest should look like. The protestors were respectful and listened to who was talking at the podium while taking pictures to document the moment.

“The First Amendment gives all of us the right to express our dissatisfaction with the government. This happened at the KS capitol. Kansas protestors entered the capitol peacefully and remained peaceful until they peacefully left,” Christine Sturges-Brown, government teacher, said. “When your speech or expression creates a clear and present danger when it promulgates violence, it is not protected. None of our liberties are absolute.”

None of the teachers interviewed know anybody who went to either rally on a personal level.

Protest Theories

There are theories that the protest was inspired by the extremist group QAnon as many protesters referred to the rally as “The Storm.” Jake Angeli, also known as QAnon Shaman, was photographed inside the capitol during the riots while wearing a fur hat with horns and his face was painted in red, white, and blue. With QAnon members not wanting to be blamed for the riots, many claimed that Shaman is a part of ANTIFA and that the riots were caused by them.

With all these rumors floating around about who caused the riots, it’s hard to know what happened. Many people believe that Trump himself incited the riots due to his “supporting words” in a speech given before the rally started. 

Republicans are constantly fighting like a boxer with his hands tied behind his back. It’s like a boxer. And we want to be so nice. We want to be so respectful of everybody, including bad people. And we’re going to have to fight much harder,” Trump stated. 

25th Amendment

Many politicians felt that the 25th amendment should have been invoked for Trump’s actions. 

The 25th amendment states that if the current President cannot hold office for any given reason then the Vice President will take the role as President. This amendment was established a few years after John F. Kennedy’s assassination and has been used three times thus far. 

“The first time was in 1985 when President Reagan underwent a medical procedure. Power was temporarily turned over to Vice President Bush for about eight hours when the President was unconscious and recovering from the anesthetic used in the procedure,” Charlie Appelhanz, world history teacher, said. “It was used twice during President George W. Bush’s presidency, 2002, and 2007 for medical procedures.”

Mike Pence decided to not invoke the 25th amendment because Section 4, which allows the Vice President and majority of the body of Congress to remove Trump from office, has not been invoked since put to the creation in 1967. According to CNN, Pence was not ready to make history for that and didn’t feel he had support from the majority of Trump’s cabinet members.