Virginia-based freelance photographer Lloyd Wolf was on the plaza outside the main entrance of the United States Capitol on Wednesday afternoon January 6 taking pictures when Trump supporters descended on the building. Wolf has documented many previous demonstrations, starting in 1973 in Washington, DC with Nixon’s second “counter-inaugural.”
The experience on Wednesday, he says, was particularly disorienting and left him shaken and sad. He characterized the scene as treasonous madness—a protest and crazy circus that evolved into a “mob-ment.” He wasn’t personally harassed, aside from some mild verbal abuse, but other journalists, he learned, were attacked. He noted the numerous signs and symbols of white power and far-right militias and conspiracy theories visible on banners and clothing. Confederate flags and religious symbols were on display, as was ample evidence of QAnon conspiracy theorists.
“There was a lot of Jesus imagery and QAnon symbols,” he says, “but primarily it was Trump stuff. People were shouting, ‘We’re for Trump. We’re for Trump. We’re the Party of Trump!’ Once the mob gained the steps of the Capitol, they got very ecstatic. They got high on it. They were both angry and euphoric, feeling their own power.”
Wolf was reminded of stories of his father’s youth in Frankfurt, Germany, in the 1930s, and the Nazi rallies his father witnessed. “It was a similar kind of frenzy,” he says.
What follows is a sampling of the photographs he took to document the day.
—Diane M. Bolz
Read more of Moment‘s coverage of the violence at the U.S. Capitol.____________________________________________________________________________________
All photos © Lloyd Wolf / www.lloydwolf.com