(Washington, D.C.) – Armed insurrectionists attacked and overtook the U.S. Capitol Building to forcibly challenge President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s Electoral College victory. The violence threatened the lives of the entire U.S. Congress, Vice President Mike Pence and thousands of staff and others working on and around Capitol Hill. This was an incident of domestic terrorism, perpetrated to challenge the certification of a duly held democratic election, in which African Americans, Latinos and other people of color comprised a growing proportion of the electorate. This attempted insurrection resulted in the death of at least four people, many other injuries, property damage to historic structures, and community trauma.
The following is a statement from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:
“The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law condemns this domestic terrorism, and President Donald Trump’s incitement to the rioters to storm the seat of our government under the false pretense of an “illegitimate and unlawful” election. We call on all elected officials to repudiate these baseless claims, and to commit fully to a peaceful transfer of power on January 20. We also urge an acknowledgment that these terrorist actions are rooted in the culture of white supremacy.
“Several of the armed insurrectionists brandished symbols of the confederacy and white nationalism, and proclaimed loyalty to a person rather than to our country and its values. This echoes the most painful moments of our history as a nation, when Black people were terrorized for exercising our most basic rights—including the right to vote. The images of these domestic terrorists overtaking our Capitol, threatening our leaders and vandalizing our most sacred seat of democracy are meant to undermine the rights of people of color and other marginalized people and to put them in constant fear for their lives and safety.
“These events also laid bare that there are two systems of justice in our nation. Many peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters across the nation, and in our nation’s capital, were met with teargas, overwhelming numbers of law enforcement and widespread arrests over the past year. By contrast, these armed and violent insurrectionists took over the U.S. Capitol with limited arrests and accountability for endangering thousands of lives and threatening our democracy. After the peaceful transfer of power, we call on the Biden-Harris administration and the Congress to confront ongoing racial injustice, demonstrated so forcefully yesterday, through an ambitious, affirmative legislative and executive approach to dismantle white supremacy and advance racial equity and equal justice under the law.”
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.