… January 6, 2021 – American Terrorists sack the Capitol … A Pennsylvania Mother’s Path to Insurrection …


Videos show Rachel Powell, seen here in a pink hat and sunglasses, using a battering ram to smash a window and a bullhorn to issue orders during the Capitol riot.

How claims by Rudy Giuliani and Alex Jones spurred a parent of eight to become one of the Capitol riot’s biggest mysteries,

and a fugitive from the F.B.I.

Before the pandemic, Rachel Powell, a forty-year-old mother of eight from western Pennsylvania, sold cheese and yogurt at local farmers’ markets and used Facebook mostly to discuss yoga,

organic food, and her children’s baseball games.

But, last year, Powell began to post more frequently, embracing more extreme political views.

Her interests grew to include conspiracy theories about covid-19 and the results of the Presidential election, filtered through such figures as Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani,

and the Infowars founder Alex Jones.

On May 3, 2020, Powell wrote on Facebook, “One good thing about this whole CV crisis is that I suddenly feel very patriotic.”

Expressing outrage at the restrictions that accompanied the pandemic, she wrote, “It isn’t to late to wake up, say no, and restore freedoms.”

Several days later, she posted a distraught seven-minute video, shot outside a local gym that had been closed.

“Police need to see there’s people that are citizens that are not afraid of you guys showing up in your masks.

We’re going to be here banded together, and we’re not afraid of you,” she said.

“Maybe they should be a little bit afraid.”

On January 6th, during the storming of the United States Capitol, Powell made good on that threat.

Videos show her, wearing a pink hat and sunglasses, using a battering ram to smash a window and a bullhorn to issue orders.

“People should probably coördinate together if you’re going to take this building,” she called out, leaning through a shattered window and addressing a group of rioters already inside.

“We got another window to break to make in-and-out easy.”

In recent weeks, as journalists and law-enforcement officials tried to identify participants in the assault, she came to be known as “Bullhorn Lady” and “Pink Hat Lady.”

She appeared on an F.B.I. “Wanted” poster, was featured in cable-television news segments, and became an obsessive focus of crowdsourced investigative efforts by laypeople and experts.

Forrest Rogers, a German-American business consultant who is part of a Twitter group called the Deep State Dogs, recently identified Powell and reported her name to the F.B.I.

She is now being sought by law enforcement.

In her first public comments since the riot, Powell acknowledged her role in the events at the Capitol.

During a two-hour telephone interview, she claimed that her conduct had been spontaneous, contrary to widespread speculation that she had acted in coördination with an organized group.

“I was not part of a plot—organized, whatever,” Powell, who was speaking from an undisclosed location, told me.

“I have no military background. . . . I’m a mom with eight kids.

That’s it.

I work.

And I garden.

And raise chickens.

And sell cheese at a farmers’ market.”

During the interview, she reviewed photographs and videos of the Bullhorn Lady, acknowledging that many of the images showed her, and offered detailed descriptions of the skirmishes they depicted.

She declined to comment on some of her conduct—including smashing windows and shouting orders to fellow-rioters—that could carry criminal charges.

“Listen, if somebody doesn’t help and direct people, then do more people die?” she said.

“That’s all I’m going to say about that.

I can’t say anymore.

I need to talk to an attorney.”

Powell was born in Anaheim, California, and grew up on what she described as “the really bad side” of Fresno.

She was raised by her mother, who worked at a local shop, and by her stepfather, a plumber.

“It was rough, but she didn’t do without anything,” her mother, Deborah Lemons, who has had a strained relationship with Powell for the past several years, said.

“She always had clothes.

She always had food.” Lemons said that, when Powell was a child, she and her stepfather were the victims of a carjacking.

Powell was held at gunpoint and her stepfather was kidnapped for several hours by their assailant.

“Knowing what that feels like, I am just absolutely amazed that she would participate in something like this and not consider or have a lot of compassion for the people who were inside that building,

” Lemons said, referring to the riot.

“She well knows what it’s like to wonder if she’s gonna lose her life.”

When Powell was fifteen, her family moved to West Sunbury, in western Pennsylvania, to care for an ailing relative of her stepfather’s.

The town was typical of declining Rust Belt communities.

“There were a lot of steel mills that closed even since I lived there,” Powell told me.

She told me that she had married young, and her mother said that Powell had her first child at sixteen.

After graduating from high school, she remained in Pennsylvania.

Three years ago, Powell separated from her husband.

Since then, she has worked various part-time jobs to support her children, who range in age from four to their mid-twenties.

She told me that she has a certification as a group fitness instructor, and has taken a course in alternative medicine.

“She’s very granola, very crunchy,” a friend, who asked not to be identified, told me.

“Does yoga, eats vegetarian, homeschools all their kids.”

Powell said that, before the election of Donald Trump, in 2016, she held a wide range of political opinions.

“My views kind of fall all over the place,” she said.

“I guess you could say that I’m more libertarian at heart.”

Though her county supported Trump by wide margins in both 2016 and 2020, Powell told me that she didn’t vote for him in his first run,

and her social-media posts during that time include sharp criticism of him.

“Trump makes me uncomfortable as a presidential candidate,” she wrote in a Facebook post that linked to a piece about Trump’s lack of civility.

“What disturbs me is that so many people support this type of person.”

She also told me that she took issue with his environmental policies.

During his tenure in the White House, however, she embraced Trump and, eventually, the misinformation that he nurtured about the coronavirus and election fraud.

Those political views began to have various impacts on her life after the pandemic hit.

Paula Keswick, who co-owns a local creamery that sold Powell cheese and yogurt, said that Powell was barred from working at some events after she refused to obey pandemic restrictions.

“She was just adamant she was not going to wear a mask,” Keswick said.

(Powell said that she now works part time at a local bookstore.)

Last summer and fall, Powell said, she attended various protests, including anti-mask rallies.

“If there was a protest in Harrisburg, I was there for almost all of them,” she told me.

On July 4th, she drove for four hours to join members of several far-right groups, some of them armed, who gathered at the Gettysburg National Military Park,

purportedly to protect Civil War monuments from desecration.

At the rally, a man wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt was surrounded and aggressively questioned by about fifty demonstrators.

In a video posted online, Powell is among the group, holding an iPhone with the same Kate Spade Hollyhock Floral case that she was later photographed carrying at the Capitol.

Powell also told me that she attended rallies in Washington, D.C., on dates she could not recall, including one attended by members of the far-right group the Proud Boys, where Alex Jones,

who has falsely alleged that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was faked, spoke.

(Powell said that Jones is not her “favorite person,” but that she considers him to be “another journalist to listen to—he has interesting things to say.”)

She told me that she did not share the racist views espoused by some on the far right.

(In 2013, she tweeted, “what’s up, my niggas?”

Powell defended the use of the N-word, saying, “My favorite book is ‘Gone with the Wind,’ and it uses that term freely.”)

Last November, Powell voted for Trump.

“It was a little bit of a hard decision for me, and I didn’t make that decision to vote for him till two months before the election,” she said.

“I appreciate his business mind.

Economy-wise, he has it going on.

He loves America.”

Ultimately, she concluded, she “couldn’t vote for the other person.

I really don’t think Biden or Harris will be good for the country.”

Concerns about mask requirements, which she called a “liberty issue,” were instrumental in her decision.

She claimed that the risks of the coronavirus had been overstated by public-health officials, saying that she had not seen many deaths in her county.

On November 5th, 2020, she wrote in a Facebook comment directed at a friend, “I won’t get a vaccine either.

I hear what you’re saying about the whole world being in on the conspiracy as far as the corona virus goes.”

On December 27th, she posted, “I’m unashamedly a ‘super spreader,’ ” attaching photographs of crowded, mask-free holiday and birthday parties.

That day, she uploaded a video of a large maskless meal, during which several children said, “No masks,” and Powell could be heard saying, “The masks are total bullcrap.

You guys just need to get out there and live.

Get arrested—it’s fine.

Powell connected her beliefs about the coronavirus to claims promoted by Trump and his allies that he had won the election.

The day after the election, she shared a screenshot of a graphic claiming that several states had more votes recorded than they did registered voters, information that Facebook flagged as “partly false.”

In the accompanying text, Powell wrote, “I’m sitting here thinking about how everyone has been so complacent during COVID.”

She went on, “The government knows exactly how far you can be pushed because the population has been successfully tested.”

That post, like others reflecting Powell’s increasingly extreme views, was met with positive reinforcement online.

“The dumbing down and fattening up of America has been very successful,” one person wrote in response to the election-fraud conspiracy theory.

“It may be too late if ever they wake up.”

Earlier posts protesting mask-wearing prompted comments such as “Truth!!!” and “Wake up people!!!!”

 

By Ronan Farrow

####

>>>>>>>>>>…. When a coup attempt goes unpunished, it becomes a training exercise …….. w

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rioters forced their way past barricades to the Capitol steps, over which bleachers had been erected in anticipation of Biden’s Inauguration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>>>>>>>>>…. When a coup attempt goes unpunished, it becomes a training exercise …….. w

 

On an open terrace on the U.S. Capitol’s main level, Trump supporters clambered through a shattered window.

“Where’s the traitors?” they shouted.

PROUD?

Makeshift wooden gallows, with stairs and a rope, was erected near the Capitol on January 6th.

Since November, militant pro-Trump outfits had been openly gearing up for major violence.

In early January, on Parler, a Proud Boys leader had written, “Every law makers who breaks their own stupid Fucking laws should be dragged out of office and hung.”

AMERICAN TERRORISTS SACK THE U.S. CAPITOL ON JANUARY 6, 2021

There was an unmistakable subtext as the mob inside the Capitol, almost entirely white, shouted, “Whose house? Our house!”

>>>>>>>>>>…. When a coup attempt goes unpunished, it becomes a training exercise …….. w

 

 

 

 

 

 

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