Capitol riots: Why was ‘Elizabeth from Knoxville’ holding an ONION?

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Capitol riots: Why was ‘Elizabeth from Knoxville’ holding an ONION?
Capitol riots: Why was ‘Elizabeth from Knoxville’ holding an ONION?

A viral video of a sobbing Trump supporter who claimed she had been ‘maced’ while storming the Capitol on Wednesday has raised questions after sleuths on social media realized that she was holding what appears to be an onion. 

‘Elizabeth from Knoxville’ can be seen in the video – obtained by Yahoo News reporter Hunter Walker – holding the object in her blue towel, dabbing her eye as she explains that she had been maced during the ‘revolution.’ 

And while people initially mocked Elizabeth for having such a frenzied response after committing the assault on the federal building, many were soon split trying to figure out the purpose of her carrying the vegetable.

Some on social media have suggested she had an onion with her to be ready to counteract the effects of pepper spray, something people have used in other protests around the world; others say she used the onion to rub in her eyes to induce crying to make a show for the cameras.  

‘Elizabeth from Knoxville’ can be seen in the video – obtained by Yahoo News reporter Hunter Walker – holding the object in her blue towel, dabbing her eye as she explains that she had been maced during the ‘revolution’

#Oniontowel soon sprouted from the wild visual of Elizabeth with the mace, with people feeding into the conspiracy of whether Elizabeth was actually maced – or whether she made it all up. 

‘Wait, so Elizabeth from Knoxville, who claims she was maced after storming the Capitol, was dabbing her eyes with an onion towel?’ asked Mike P Williams. 

He later speculated: ‘Did Elizabeth from Knoxville lie about storming the Capitol building to earn MAGA cred but unwittingly incriminate herself in terrorism, or is she really this dim to think onions would help cry the mace out of her peepers? Answers on a postcard.’

‘Wait, so Elizabeth from Knoxville, who claims she was maced after storming the Capitol, was dabbing her eyes with an onion towel,’ asked Mike P Williams

He later speculated: ‘Did Elizabeth from Knoxville l

ie about storming the Capitol building to earn MAGA cred but unwittingly incriminate herself in terrorism, or is she really this dim to think onions would help cry the mace out of her peepers? Answers on a postcard’

‘I am pretty sure Elizabeth was really maced,’ Hunter Walker asserted. ‘Her face was moister and redder than what comes across in the clip. Hard to imagine her pulling that off with an onion. This is a case of a strange, questionable tear gas remedy.’

A person claiming to be Elizabeth’s cousin – Tracy Massenburg – shared that the brazen woman was indeed maced for storming the Capitol.   

‘No, she got maced…This is my first cousin embarrassing herself out in these streets,’ Massenburg shared. ‘Can someone adopt me? I hate it here!!! I was exiled long ago so adoption would be free and clear!’

Massenburg would later clarify that Elizabeth had been holding a piece of ice. 

Hunter Walker, the reporter who obtained the video, said he was ‘pretty sure’ Elizabeth was maced. ‘Her face was moister and redder than what comes across in the clip. Hard to imagine her pulling that off with an onion. This is a case of a strange, questionable tear gas remedy.’ 

Others were convinced, however, that Elizabeth was using an onion to make herself cry and not to alleviate the pain. 

Massenburg would later clarify that Elizabeth had been holding a piece of ice

‘The phrase crocodile tears has officially been replaced by #oniontowel,’ declared one user.

Josh Young guessed: ‘That’s hilarious, but I think it’s a lemon or lime. Some people use it to soothe the pain when they get hot pepper in their eye.’

‘But who carries citrus fruit to a revolution,’ someone asked in response. ‘Unless you were planning on happy hour after?’

The onion’s presence made many wonder if the chaos that actually unfolded in Washington D.C. was intentional, as it would make it seem that the actions of the crazed Trump supporters on Wednesday were premeditated. 

‘But who carries citrus fruit to a revolution,’ someone asked in response. ‘Unless you were planning on happy hour after?’

Its existence, along with the presence of the bombs and riot gear that many MAGA fanatics sported, has only further added to the speculation. 

‘Did she take the onion with her? Did they have a MAGA onion stand? Did she plan the onion, or just happen to have one in her purse? So many questions,’ one person said on Twitter.   

People have developed some ways to help combat the effect of tear gas.  

In 2018, Palestinians used onions and vinegar to get rid of the tear gas effects from the canisters that were fired daily from Israeli forces. 

A single vegetable’s effectiveness is questionable when pitted against the latest ‘riot dispersal means’ deployed by one of the best-equipped armies in the Middle East, Reuters reported, so it is unclear whether onions actually worked to ease the pain. 

'Did she take the onion with her? Did they have a MAGA onion stand? Did she plan the onion, or just happen to have one in her purse? So many questions,' one person said on Twitter

‘Did she take the onion with her? Did they have a MAGA onion stand? Did she plan the onion, or just happen to have one in her purse? So many questions,’ one person said on Twitter

Palestinian protesters used onions and vinegar to ease the effects of tear gas fired by Israeli troops in 2018

Palestinian protesters and activist used a series of tactics to alleviate the effects of the tear gas that was fired daily by Israeli troops along the Gaza border in 2018. 

Medical masks, plastic bottles, T-shirts and keffiyehs were all pressed into service against the gas canisters, with onions being a common ingredient in the devices, Reuters reported at the time. 

A single vegetable’s effectiveness is questionable when pitted against the latest ‘riot dispersal means’ deployed by one of the best-equipped armies in the Middle East. 

Jehad Abu Mehsen covered most of her face with a plastic bottle holding an onion in place over her nose while protesting in 2018. 

‘It does help to alleviate the strong smell but it doesn’t stop the gas from coming. I have twice been taken to the medical tent to be treated,’ she said.

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