KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting a peaceful transfer of power, forcing lawmakers to be rushed from the building.
As Congress works to certify President-Elect Joe Biden's election win, one woman who identified herself only as "Elizabeth from Knoxville" is catching the collective ire and mirth of social media.
Footage of Elizabeth claiming she was maced after trying to "storm the capitol" on Wednesday began to go viral on Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok that same night.
As the nation collectively processes the violence that disrupted a peaceful transfer of power on Wednesday, the video of "Elizabeth from Knoxville" has become an impetus for larger conversation online - a way to talk about police brutality, white privilege, and the chaos of the day within one twenty-eight second video.
The video, taken by Yahoo.com reporter Hunter Walker, shows her walking through the crowd with a male companion. Walker stops her to ask what happened.
"I got maced," she says, wiping her eyes with a blue towel. "By the police," the man next to her clarifies.
Walker then asks if she was trying to get into the capitol.
"Yeah! I made it like a foot inside and they pushed me out, and they maced me," she said.
She then tells Walker her name is Elizabeth, and that she is from Knoxville, Tennessee.
When asked by Walker what she was doing there, she is forthright in her response.
"We're storming the Capitol!" she replies. "It's a revolution!"
Two local politicians, House Representative Gloria Johnson and House Rep. Tim Burchett, publicly condemned 'Elizabeth's' actions.
Some reactions to the video taken of Elizabeth are mirthful; people poke fun at her apparent shock that she would encounter resistance while trying to, in her own words, "storm the capitol" for a "revolution."
However, the footage of 'Elizabeth' largely drew angry reactions online.
Many people called for her to be prosecuted with a crime.
Others juxtaposed 'Elizabeth''s shock at the consequences of her illegal actions against a myriad of oppressive experiences BIPOC endure in the United States, reacting to her situation with disdain.
Celebrities also chimed in on the Elizabeth video. Basketball player Dwayne Wade, actor Michael Rappaport, and celebrity chef Chrissy Teigen interacted with or tweeted about the video.
Around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, police had arrested 30 people for violating a curfew imposed in Washington, D.C., after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, according to the Associated Press.
Officials say the 30 people were arrested Wednesday evening after being found on the streets after the 6 p.m.
Four people died in the violent occupation; a woman who was shot by the U.S. Capitol Police, and three others who died in "medical emergencies".
The curfew had been imposed after scores of supporters of President Donald Trump broke into the Capitol, halting the constitutional process of voting to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win. They were later forcibly removed from the Capitol.
Together, the protests and the GOP election objections amounted to an almost unthinkable challenge to American democracy and exposed the depths of the divisions that have coursed through the country during Trump’s four years in office.
Though the efforts to block Biden from being sworn in on Jan. 20 were sure to fail, the support Trump has received for his efforts to overturn the election results have badly strained the nation’s democratic guardrails.