The Journey of Ashli Babbitt

The Awakening While Babbitt was described to San Diego news stations as a patriot by her husband and “ loyal and extremely passionate ” by her brother-in-law, her social media history details engagement with some of the darker sentiments circulating in online right-wing and pro-Trump circles in recent years. In terms of her views, Ashli Babbitt probably didn’t stand out from the crowd massed at the U.S. Capitol. And that is precisely why the story of her political awakening — well told through her activity on Twitter — is so instructive in understanding what brought that crowd together. Over the past five years, a potent MAGA online subculture appears to have transformed this former Obama voter, who turned to Trump over a dislike of Hillary Clinton, into a QAnon follower ready to storm the Capitol. In a Twitter exchange on November 15 2018, Babbitt said that she had voted for President Obama, calling him “our president” and saying that he had done “great things”: It was only in March 2020 that Babbitt first used the term QAnon and started retweeting major QAnon Twitter accounts: Babbitt sent her last tweet on January 5 2021, which contained two QAnon references: “the storm is here” and “dark to light”: The Storming Babbitt was clearly committed to her cause, as her social media history shows. On January 5th she flew across the country from her home in San Diego to Washington D.C. to take part in the #StopTheSteal rally. She listened to President Trump make his speech, and was evidently enthusiastic to be part of the movement, beaming as she described “a sea of nothing but red, white and blue, patriots and Trump. And it was amazing, you could see the president talk,” in this video obtained by TMZ. Babbitt, like so many others, walked from the site of Trump’s speech down the inaugural path to the Capitol building, describing the group as a “ mob ”. There, she joined the people who had already broken through the first lines of woefully underprepared Capitol police, and who would eventually break into the Capitol itself through a door on the vast building’s North-West side. Footage showing the crowd climbing the Capitol steps and breaking through a security fence. Defeated by this barricade, the mob turned left and sought another way in. As they moved around the halls, their path took them to a door in front of which stood two police officers, clearly unprepared for any kind of crowd control. This door led to the Speaker’s Lobby , a hallway that contains entrances to the House Chamber. At around 2:40 PM — the same time the mob reached this door — PBS reported that Vice President Mike Pence had been escorted to safety from the House Chamber ( visible at 3:39:58 in the PBS video) . However, it appears that other lawmakers were still present in the Chamber at that time. It was here, outside the Speaker’s Lobby, where Babbitt would be shot a short time later. The Shooting The Aftermath

2021-01-08 | Americas, News, America | English |