NOW Joins Call to Action on Lawmakers and Tech Companies to Address Violence
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was the most shocking assault on our democracy to unfold before our eyes since the horrific attacks of 9/11. But unlike the sneak attack from terrorists based overseas, this violence was organized, in plain sight, with plenty of advance warning – and it was perpetrated by American citizens, on American citizens. Now we’re finding out that law enforcement and the federal government chose to ignore the many alarms that were sounded. They turned a blind eye on hate speech, terrorist tactics and violent extremism coursing through online communities, both mainstream social media platforms, and dark web havens.
A Pentagon official told DC officials that he didn’t like the “optics” of soldiers inside the Capitol building when they asked for support from the National Guard, yet this is the same Pentagon that cleared the phalanx of National Guard on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial last June, as peaceful demonstrators protested for Black lives, LatinX and Disabled Rights activists.
Federal agencies like the FBI are finally addressing some of these threats, but it’s too little, too late—and we can only hope the consequences won’t be tragic. The National Election Protection Coalition, Progressive Democrats of America, The Latino Farmers and Ranchers, the former Mayor of Charlotte, N.C., and dozens of organizations have come together to fight far right extremism and domestic terrorism.
The National Grassroots Election Protection Coalition has issued the following demands in response to recent domestic terrorism threats:
· WE DEMAND equality and fair treatment from all law enforcement – Congress must pass the BREATHE Act immediately.
· WE DEMAND that the Department of Homeland Security designate the inauguration a nation special security event to ensure the safety of our lawmakers, our nation’s capital and our incoming administration.
· WE DEMAND that law enforcement failures on January 6 th , 2021 be investigated and prosecuted, holding those who didn’t act or who were part of the insurrection accountable.
· WE DEMAND that lawmakers and public officials take groups that advocate insurrection, white nationalism, and domestic terrorism seriously— investigating threats, naming groups as domestic terrorists and punishing them accordingly. We need to direct law enforcement to infiltrate and track groups that recruit, brainwash and unleash Americans to commit violent acts, the way they can now do overseas.
· WE DEMAND that tech companies take responsibility for violent hate speech that would not proliferate without their platforms and immediately remove those accounts.
The assault on the Capitol isn’t only frightening because it happened, but also because it didn’t happen sooner. Donald Trump could have lit this fuse at any time during his criminal presidency. He could do it again tomorrow. NOW joins the Emergency Election Protection Coalition in calling for Donald Trump’s impeachment and conviction—and eventual criminal prosecution as a private citizen.
Jennifer Roberts, Former Mayor of Charlotte, Former Mecklenburg County Commission Chair stated, “Silence in the face of bald-faced domestic terrorism is complicity. Unless the aggressors are held accountable, every US election going forward will be a time of trauma, fear, and voter suppression. Inaction will be a dagger in the heart of our democracy. This assault on our nation’s Capitol was researched, planned, fed by White Supremacy and lies, and egged on by a sitting President.”
Alan Minsky, E.D. of the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) stated, “PDA stands in full solidarity with the National Grassroots Election Protection Coalition, the National Organization of Women (NOW), and their statement of Demands in response to the attack by domestic terrorists on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. As these terrorists sought to undermine democracy, we declare our unequivocal support for a democratic society.”
Rabbi Marc Gopin, Director CRDC, The Jimmy and Rosalynn School for Peace and Conflict Resolution George Mason University stated, “We have to be very clear that there is no such thing as ‘armed protests’ with the stated intent to assault public officials. That is domestic terrorism. A protest is a sacred right in a democracy, even a responsibility often, but an armed protest is no such thing in the current context of extreme white nationalism. It is emerging as a series of domestic terrorism incidents, especially when they are accompanied by threats against minorities, against officials, placing a giant noose on the Capitol steps and charging through the hallways of Congress, wounding and killing police officers, chanting to hang the Vice President and the succession line to the President, seeking out their hiding places. That is an assault on the foundations of our rights and our democracy and our basic decency, that is not free speech.”