Across the nation, the world and in Bay Area, people gathered to watch the casting of ballots by an Electoral College that never got the chance.
It's all people could talk about Wednesday across the Bay Area.
"Well, it's chaos," said Katie Hopkins of San Francisco. "I am embarrassed to be an American, the way we look. We look crazy."
It was chaos in the process of presidential transition Americans have always taken for granted.
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"I am surprised but not surprised. But shots fired in a hostile takeover?" asked Miles Jones of Santa Cruz.
"It's a very sad day. It could be, in my opinion, a coup attempt," added a woman named Maureen, who did not give her last name.
"Oh, I was appalled. Absolutely appalled this was happening in our country," said Lou Rothgeb of San Francisco.
"It hurts my heart as an American. It hurts my heart as a Black. And all over the world we are now a third-world nation," added a man who identified himself only as Steve.
A third-world nation? For many, it felt like that today.
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In the East Bay, residents shared similar sentiment, saying they were not necessarily surprised by what happened in Washington D.C., because people "are kind of fed up."
Others said the violence needs to be "condemned" because "this is not our country."
In the South Bay, the mayor of San Jose and a former 16-year congressman are calling for President Donald Trump to be held responsible for the unprecedented incursion.
"This is certainly dispiriting and sickening to see our institutions being under siege," said Mayor Sam Liccardo.
He didn't mince words that Trump should be held responsible for the siege at the Capitol.
"I believe the United States Attorney General should bring charges," said Liccardo. "Seditious conspiracy against this president and everyone who's acted with him, to undermine our most sacred of democratic institutes, that is elections."
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Liccardo said democracy is doomed when Congress can't do its lawful work to allow a peaceful transfer of power with the certification of the Electoral College results.
The images of members of Congress hunkering down, uncertain of the danger as unmasked protestors stormed its chambers, had former eight-term Congressman Mike Honda calling for even more urgent action to remove the president from office in his final days.
"We can impeach him and indict him and get him out of office before (Jan) 20th," he said. "This is an unprecedented kind of behavior by the president."
Honda praised Capitol police for their restraint, even as they were overrun by the protestors.
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As upsetting or shocking as the siege was, the former congressman noted that democratic principles have prevailed to elect a new president in November and to create a new Senate majority with this week's election in Georgia.
"The democratic process of getting people out to vote in this instance worked," he said. "We have to emphasize that as we talk about the shameful day that Trump is responsible for."
The streets of San Jose were quiet Wednesday evening. However, Mayor Liccardo said he has been in touch with his police chief and with intelligence units to monitor if any protests develop, inspired by the capitol siege.
He's also in touch with mayors in other large cities.
"We're all trying to exchange information to insure that we're ahead of what may happen," he said. "We expect that there may be some amount of coordination and all of this obviously, a lot of it's coming from the White House."
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