Is this a coup?

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On the afternoon of Jan. 6, a mob of US president Donald Trump’s supporters forced its way into the nation’s capitol, overwhelmed police, and smashed windows—forcing lawmakers into hiding, occupying the floor of the House and Senate and congressional offices, and derailing the certification of president-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the November elections.

What do you call such a brazen, dangerous, and undemocratic act?

Biden settled on “insurrection” in his televised response to the violence. Other commentators have dubbed it a coup, or appended the legal label of sedition. Some newsrooms—like CBS—told reporters they could call the people who stormed the capitol “protestors,” while others rejected the label. The Washington Post went with “mob,” while NPR landed on “pro-Trump extremists.”

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