Similarities and differences of Jan. 6 riot and 1898 massacre to be discussed at community event

Two years ago today, the devastating riot at the U.S. Capitol took place.
Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 8:36 AM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Two years ago today, the riot at the U.S. Capitol took place. The events that transpired that day sparked a congressional investigation and resulted in criminal charges against hundreds of rioters.

President Joe Biden will deliver remarks at a ceremony later today to remember what many call one of the darkest days in our nation’s history.

According to a bipartisan senate report released last year, seven deaths are blamed on the riot along with nearly 140 injuries. The report stated that “the investigation uncovered a number of intelligence and security failures leading up to January 6th that allowed for the breach of the Capitol.”

The U.S. Capitol Police released a statement earlier this week regarding any future incidents similar to January 6th.

“With the polarized state of our nation, an attack like the one our Department endured on January 6, 2021, could be attempted again. Should the unthinkable happen, we will be ready,” said Chief Tom Manger with the U.S. Capitol Police.

Some people are drawing comparisons between the January 6th riot and one of the darkest moments in Wilmington’s history, the 1898 massacre and coup d’état.

The 1898 Wilmington massacre remains the only successful coup d’état in U.S. history, involving white supremacists who worked to overthrow the city’s elected government by killing black citizens and forcing many black leaders to flee the city.

The New Hanover Chapter of the National Black Leadership Caucus is hosting an event to compare the similarities and differences between the 1898 massacre and the January 6th Capitol riot. Guests will include State Senator Natalie Murdock, Representative Charles Graham, activist Barbara Bakowycz and retired USMC Colonel Eric Treshima.

Organizer and Wilmington activist, Sonya Patrick, is urging people to learn what happened at both events and use that knowledge to make a difference to end violence.

“It does concern me because being from Wilmington, and knowing that an actual government takeover took place in my hometown, and to see that at the Capitol, was very concerning to me as an American citizen,” said Patrick.

The event is taking place tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. in room 100 at Morton Hall at UNCW. It’s free and all are welcome.

UNCW’s Morton Hall is located at 683 Racine Drive in Wilmington.