Parler’s Greatest Hits (from the Capitol Attack)
I watched the Parler videos so you don’t have to. The findings left me speechless.
ProPublica has gone through thousands of videos from Parler (before it was torn down) that were shot on January 6, 2021, the day that Trump-loving insurrectionists stormed the Capitol of the United States. ProPublica pulled several hundred of the most relevant videos and helpfully compiled them into a timeline of events.
The on-camera action captured by Trump’s actual supporters is… Well, it’s something. Something that defies explanation — and any and all expectations.
I’ve screencapped what I consider to be the most interesting highlights.
Jesus loves you, motherf*cker.
That repugnant phrase kept popping into my mind as I watched these videos. Because that’s the message I was receiving. The entire rally was an odd mixture of the would-be spiritual and the exceptionally profane. For every video of someone praying or praising Jesus, there are a dozen others of men and women screaming outraged obscenities in all directions.
One constant in almost every single video is the chanting. They continuously shout:
“Stop the steal!”
“Fight for Trump!”
On and on and on they go. It’s exhausting.
The man below tells strangers how he was “praying for a policeman” when the cop in question suddenly and without provocation, shot him in the face with a flash bomb. Because illegally trespassing on government property shoulder-to-shoulder with a mob that’s juiced up and ready to rage-crash everything in sight is in no way provocatory.
This woman says she was praying when she got hit with teargas. The implication being that she’s a peaceful protestor who wasn’t part of the mob storming the building. Yet the gas and bombs lobbed by the police never went far beyond the steps of the Capitol, from my observations. And the steps are where the mob was pushing forward.
Speaking of prayers, this band of brothers joined together to pray on camera under the Capitol dome, managing to capture what’s admittedly a pretty cool shot, taken straight up.
Trumpist pastors show up for the rally, and at least one of them makes it inside. This well-coifed reverend believes he’ll lose his job at the church because he’s at the insurrection. At first he claims to not be participating, “just observing.” But then he gives an impassioned speech about how talk is cheap, and “if they’re stealing an election, what’s it going to take?”
So yeah, he’s participating.
After witnessing the shooting of Ashlii Babbitt, this understandably emotional man stops to tell the story to another participating pastor. The man gives details on exactly how it happened, and his story matches published accounts.
The pastor, seen below, then prays for the shaken man while his camera is still rolling.
A later video shows a trail of what can only be Ms. Babbitt’s blood, from when she was carried away from the fight. It’s a chilling sight.
On a lighter note… This dude openly smokes weed on the steps of the Capitol Building. And again I’m struck by the thought, “This seemed like a good idea?”
This wacky gal thinks she’s here to see Madonna, and dances her heart out accordingly. She’s also carrying a couple of zip-ties for some reason.
Lest you think she’s the only person to show up in cosplay, there are a number of kooky characters present. And I’m not even including the Qanon Shaman — but don’t worry, he shows up later in the day.
This man is dressed as George Washington. He slow-walks across the Mall’s freezing cold reflecting pool, which for some reason endears him to the hearts of thousands of observers.
Right on time, Brutus shows up to betray another nation.
MAGA Paddington fancies himself a reporter…
…until this woman takes over his “show” to whine for minutes on end about being teargassed, out-volume-ing him repeatedly. Pro tip: If you don’t want to get maced, don’t participate in an attempted coup.
Her righteous indignation builds to such a fervor that she eventually compares the situation to a scene from Schindler’s List.
Meanwhile, inside the Capitol, “patriotism” looked an awful lot like unhinged hate and anger. Watching these Trumpists proudly break windows and doors, and then march throughout the halls of power claiming to own the place, it’s clear that these people are living out childhood revolution fantasies.
“Where are the f*cking traitors? Drag ’em out by their f*cking balls!” one of them yells. “Yeah!” echoes another. “Come on, who’s first?!”
Further down the hall, another man helpfully points out, “They’re in the basement! Find the basement!”
While others playfully announce that they’re hunting Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, a man on a bullhorn calls out the police, promising that they’re “inches away” from civil war.
In an office hallway, these guys thought it’d be a good idea to kick hard on every door they walked by.
Bravehearts throughout the building resound endless cries of “FREEDOM!” ad nauseam, as if escaping from Alcatraz — and not stomping through the United States Congress like a stampede on Monster Energy and steroids.
This clown thought it’d be hilarious to pick up a landline phone and yell into it, “Can I speak to Pelosi? Yeah? We’re comin’, bitch! Oh, Mike Pence? We’re comin’ for you too, f*ckin’ traitor!” Then he hangs up, and people nearby cackle.
Several times, there’s heard the remarkable self-own of “Treason! Treason! Treason!” It’s meant as a protest, but comes across in these videos as a cry of intent.
“Defend your Constitution! Defend your liberty!” others shout, again and again.
Absolutely everyone has their phones out, filming the event. As if recording their acts of sedition for future generations is the noble thing to do.
There’s exactly one video from inside the chambers of Congress. A group of geniuses yell via megaphone, “Where’d she go?! Where’d she go?!” obviously referring to Nancy Pelosi.
Worth noting is that they’re screaming their heads off in the Senate chamber. Congresswoman Pelosi is Speaker of the House. She was never in the Senate chamber the entire day.
It’s frankly astounding how many of these people complain about being tear-gassed. They’ve illegally broken inside the Capitol Building and they’re crying, on camera, about being pepper-sprayed.
Seriously. This guy does it.
So do dozens of others.
Another guy laughs at being sprayed while noting that “it’s like snorting wasabi!”
Also utterly mind-boggling is how almost every last one of these people at some point pulls down their mask or gaiter to show their face. Most of them aren’t wearing a mask to begin with, because of the reasons. Many of them don’t stop there, giving their names as well. Of course, they’re doing it within the expected safety of Parler. But mistakes were made.
Many Trumpists take selfies, while others stumble across someone else filming and happily pull their mask away to mug for the camera. High on the possibility of open combat, they proclaim how “awesome” or “amazing” this is.
I mean… Seriously, people.
Rethink your life choices.
“We’re in the halls of Congress!” one yells. “We don’t want war, but we’re prepared to fight for our liberty!”
What I don’t understand is where they think their liberty has gone, exactly. They’re as free today as they have been all their lives. That’s not going to change, no matter what conspiracies say.
In between the Nazis and the Proud Boys, there are hundreds of unconcerned Trumpists wandering the halls, looking bored, like they’re sorry they bought a ticket for the official tour. They’re the exception, not the rule.
Case in point:
That would be one of Trump’s faithful hurling a chair at policemen.
There’s footage of an incredible standoff between protestors and policemen with shields in a tunnel, where somehow it’s the cops that are being pepper-sprayed by the insurgents. A second video shows the MAGA crowd trying to push its way through the bottleneck, despite cries from the front of the line that people are “squishing us!”
“Hold the line!” is repeated throughout many of the videos. I really think some of these people saw this event as their version of the Alamo.
That’s not a joke.
Here’s the tunnel confrontation.
Unless I’m very much mistaken, this dude is trying to break this window with a baseball bat. So, you know, somebody brought a baseball bat. To a “peaceful” protest. As we’ve already seen, pepper spray was also on-hand from the insurgents, along with reported pipe bombs, and I don’t even want to know how many guns. (Baseball Bat Man eventually succeeded in breaking through the window.)
Things turned violent quickly, but the police appear to gain the upper hand by pushing the crowd out of the tunnel. That doesn’t stop the morons from openly attacking them, though. This man thought it would be a good idea to attack the police with a crutch.
The white and blue object flying through the air towards the police, just above the flag in this next shot, is a broom. A number of other objects can be seen taking flight in the videos, including bottles, shoes, and other items I’m unable to identify.
The police, who’ve been widely criticized for not stopping the crowd once they got inside, look helpless. At a certain point, the tide turns, and you can see the police sort of just give up, overwhelmed by the MAGA numbers. They peacefully watch the crowds throng through the building, because what else can they do? Throw themselves in front of the horde? It wouldn’t stop them. And what would dying on their swords accomplish?
Here’s a red hat MAGott (on the left) telling a bike helmeted cop (on the right), “You’re a traitor.” Over and over he says it. The cop remains calm and does nothing in response.
This policeman does his best to talk down a group about to go upstairs towards the Senate and House chambers, rightly pointing out that the “them” these people are “coming for” at this point are no one but the Capitol Police. “[The Senators and Congressmen and women] aren’t here! You know that,” he says. It’s unclear whether or not he succeeds.
I love this female police officer who’s over this and just wants to go home. “No. No,” she says with a distinct note of finality. The crowd tries to argue, asking her what’s beyond the doorway she’s blocking. She waves them away. “Just go. Just go back downstairs,” she says, shaking her head. “ Go,” she adds, in her best mom voice.
We’ve all heard that voice. Mom reaches a certain point and you know it’s pointless to argue. The conversation is over.
Amazingly, the crowd collectively shrugs and turns around, as ordered.
So what we needed on January 6th at the Capitol was more fed-up moms. They could have put these bad boys and girls in timeout long before they reached the steps.
Elsewhere, “That’s what happens when the f*cking fake news shows up at a patriot rally!” says a man as he surveys damage intentionally done to the Associated Press’ equipment. You’ve probably seen footage of this already.
Moments later, several people in the crowd call for everyone to “go to the Supreme Court” next.
Imagine if they’d done that. It would have been pointless, as the Court wasn’t in session. But they could have damaged that much smaller building just as badly if not more so than what they did to the Capitol.
By this point in the day it’s getting late, curfew has been declared, and it’s dawning on all but the hardcore that it’s time to pack it in. Their work here is done.
A few shots of flashbangs igniting among the crowd, still a shocking sight to behold, on the steps of the Capitol Building:
Several flash bombs are picked up by rioters and chucked back toward the police.
As people are leaving the area, one Parler user (Parlerite?) encounters the ever-present “Qanon Shaman,” who enthuses that, even though he’s retreating, “We won the f*ckin’ day! We won by sending a message to the Senators and the Congressmen. We won by sending a message to Pence. If they don’t uphold the Constitution, then we will remove them from office, one way or another!”
This bloodied man declares on camera that he’s just come from the front lines, where he’s been “fighting the cops” for “three hours.” (If I understand him clearly; the audio’s unclear.) “Fighting the cops” in this case means beating on plastic shields with hard objects, and trying to dodge the batons that swung their way in response.
Predictably, by the end of the day, the cries of “Fight for Trump!” and “F*ck Antifa!” turn to “Let’s get the f*ck out of here!” Because as the storybook (and the Good Book) tell us, cowards always flee at the end.
And the plot of this grand story? In case you missed it, it can be summed up once more with this.
This fiasco, you see, was always going to happen. What you’ve witnessed of January 6th on this page and elsewhere is Trumpism followed to its only logical conclusion.