Why a mock monument nodding to the Jan 6. Capitol riot is now on display in L.A.

Memorial markers on a plaza in New York City.
The “Heroes of the Freedomsurrection” display in New York on Jan. 6, 2022, the first anniversary of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
(“The Daily Show With Trevor Noah”)

On the morning of Jan. 6, 2022, a series of mysterious monuments appeared in New York City’s Flatiron Plaza. By 11 p.m. that night, they were gone.

Now, these monuments are making their way to Los Angeles.

Commemorating the one-year anniversary of the siege of the U.S. Capitol building, mock monuments dubbed “Heroes of the Freedomsurrection” were created by “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” team and displayed in New York City at 23rd Street and Broadway, only a half-mile from the Empire State Building.

Eight bronze plaques stood in the pathway as passersby scoped out the displays and left objects such as photographs and flowers at them to satirically commemorate the efforts of key players like former President Donald J. Trump, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Fox News political commentator Tucker Carlson in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

The description for the mock-uments reads: “‘Heroes of the Freedomsurrection’ honors eight of the patriots who tried to overthrow their country on January 6, 2021 — and failed miserably.”

“Because America loves monuments so much, this was kind of our way of paying tribute to the ‘Heroes of the Freedomsurrection,’ the people who made this day happen essentially,” says “The Daily Show” producer Jocelyn Conn.

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These plaques have been flown across the nation to Los Angeles, where they are on display at the Westfield Century City Nordstrom Plaza through June 5. “Heroes of the Freedomsurrection” returns just before the House Jan. 6 committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing about the siege, on June 9.

On Jan. 6, 2021, the Capitol was stormed by Trump supporters who believed in false claims of election fraud. The rioters aimed to overturn the election and breached the Capitol where electoral votes were being tallied for the 2020 presidential election.

The day news broke of the riot at the Capitol, Conn felt like it wasn’t real. She had a hard time grasping the chaos of it all, asking herself: “Is this really happening?”


“I think there was a feeling of not really being sure if the institution was going to hold,” adds Ramin Hedayati, digital supervising producer and segment director for “The Daily Show.” “That, I think, was scary for me. The fact that they got so close probably gave them enough confidence that they could do it again.”

Never-before-seen footage of the chaos during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, from Los Angeles Times photographer Kent Nishimura’s GoPro.

The installation also nods to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and Trump advisor Steve Bannon.

Each plaque includes a photo, the inductee’s name and a quote from the person, followed by a description of their role in perpetuating the siege.

Cruz’s plaque reads, “When faced with danger, some men slink away to more pleasant climates. Not Cruz. In the buildup to January 6, he was a star attraction, expectorating into any convenient microphone with the courage and resolve for which Trump bestowed the nickname ‘Lion Ted’ upon him.”

The plaque continues, “...When the Freedomsurrectionists ransacked his papers on the Senate floor, they knew where he stood, ‘He’s with us!’ they told each other on video that would soon become very useful to prosecutors. ‘Cruz would want us to do this!’”

The L.A. installment adds two more figures to its display: former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).

“News continues to break about January 6 and the investigations. And since January 6 this year, more news has come out that has put more light onto new figures,” Conn says.

On Jan. 6, 2021, an insurrection unfolded at the U.S. Capitol when a mob stormed the building while lawmakers voted to certify the electoral college results and Joe Biden’s victory.

Text message and email logs obtained by the Jan. 6 committee show Meadows’ involvement with the fiasco, including his efforts to help Trump attempt to overturn the presidential election.

Gaetz has been a fervent defender of the Jan. 6 siege. On the anniversary of the insurrection, on Bannon’s “War Room” podcast, Gaetz said, “We’re ashamed of nothing. ... We’re proud of the work we did on Jan. 6 to make a legitimate arguments about election integrity … and we’re actually going to walk the grounds that patriotic Americans walked from the White House to the Capitol.”

The idea for the monument installment piggybacks on the debate surrounding whether Confederate statues should be taken down. Some argue that these statues must be kept up to “preserve our history,” while others hold that these memorials are stark reminders of America’s deep-rooted history of slavery and racism.

In a tongue-in-cheek move, the “Heroes of the Freedomsurrection” display reads: “Please don’t tear down these monuments, because history.”

“There is a big effort, I think, to erase this history. They would love for this to go away,” Hedayati says. “And so, we see these monuments as an effort to remind people that, ‘Hey, this thing happened. It was a big deal. We didn’t forget it.’”