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Local Republican club witnesses siege on Capitol Hill

Lynn Gibbs, President of the Oregon Republican Club, gives her first-hand experience on when a peaceful Trump rally turned into a violent attack
Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 11:30 PM EST
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OREGON, Ohio (WTVG) - Lynn Gibbs and 22 others from the area traveled to Washington D.C. for the President’s “Steal the Vote” rally.

She says after President Donald Trump called on his supporters to march down Pennsylvania Avenue, that peaceful rally turned into a riot. The riot became a siege.

“There were all kinds of people there. And it was very peaceful, and then all of a sudden they went to the Capitol building and that’s when it broke loose,” Gibbs said as she and others are on their way out of the capitol.

Gibbs says she was standing near the Washington Monument.

“We got there at 7 o clock this morning, they had speakers all morning, the President spoke at 11:30,” recounts Gibbs. “Then they asked everybody to walk down to the Capitol as a show of support.”

She says no one from the group saw what happened up close, but as they marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, some members started to see the protest turn violent.

“There were some people in our group that saw the tear gas ahead of them,” says Gibbs, who says she started getting alerts on her phone and watched President Trump’s video telling people to go home. “They did breach the building, and they did go inside the Senate chamber.”

It was then, Gibbs says, they made a plan to get out.

“I started texting our group and arranging for a pickup place, so we went out back to the hotel, got the car, and started transporting groups back to the hotel,” Gibbs adds.

Gibbs tells me she and others were there to support the challenge to the Electoral College count.

“The people inside the building with Trump flags, I think there was a sense of ... ’Is this the only thing we can do?’” says Gibbs. “There is anger and frustration, and they want the republic to stay the way it is.”

Gibbs says violence, no matter the political affiliation, is never the answer.

“It is not reflective of the whole party. It is a faction that is angry, and I hope and I pray as a Republican leader that we find out exactly who went into that building first, and who decided to use violence to go inside that building,” she said.

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