A series of events Thursday featuring members of congress and activists from both the right and the left illuminated diverging narratives among the rival factions of what happened on January 6, 2021.

Over the past year, media has squarely placed blame on President Trump and contending that violence by his supporters against police for the purposes of blocking election certification constituted an attempted coup.

Progressives take this point a step further, viewing January 6 as indicative of a wider, conservative effort to undermine democracy itself. For conservatives, a number of divergent narratives have emerged.

Micki Witthoeft

Micki Witthoeft, mother of Ashli Babbitt arrived at the Capitol early Thursday morning. Her goal for the day, she says, was to challenge the government’s narrative about her daughter’s death.

She believes the government hasn’t been transparent following January 6, citing the thousands of hours of security footage at the Capitol which is mostly not slated for release to the public.

For Witthoeft’s friends, they view the Trump supporters themselves as the victims of January 6.

The notion that January 6 was instigated by federal agents has not just been confined to the Trump base.

Representatives Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene

On Capitol Hill later in the day, Representatives Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene spoke out, trying to brand the incident a possible “Fedsurrection.”

The duo admitted that their claims were largely speculative; it wasn’t so much that they could prove federal agents had caused the event, but moreso that they felt it was unproven that they haven’t.

Progressive members of congress

Outside the Capitol, several progressive members of congress spoke out in their own “vigil for democracy” commemorating January 6.

For them, the January 6 attack did not exist in a vacuum, and in a way, it didn’t end. Many contended that the events of January 6 were part of a larger project to deny the fair outcome of an election, which is continued by the passage of restrictive voter laws.

Eleanor Holmes Norton is the shadow representative for Washington DC. While elected to congress, she does not hold the power to vote on bills because of DC statehood.

She views January 6 as an attack on not only democracy, but Washington DC itself, and DC’s lack of state-equivalent representation as another symptom of the same problem.

Look Ahead America

As the vigil for democracy wrapped in front of the Capitol, Look Ahead America, the organization behind the September 18th rally at the Capitol for January 6 defendants, held their own vigil outside the DC jail.

The group lit candles, commemorating Ashli Babbitt and again claiming that January 6 defendants held inside are “political prisoners.”

While relatively few attended, they viewed it as a success for the media turnout.

In spite of reporting of the Capitol and Washington DC being on “high alert” for January 6, 2022, no violence or arrests were reported.

Former President Trump had planned for a parallel press conference at Mar a Lago that day, but ultimately canceled. Instead, he plans to hold another so-called “Save America Rally” on January 15 in Phoenix Arizona.