Yesterday saw an unprecedented attack on U.S. democratic institutions and working people across the country, and world, were shocked by what unfolded before us. Here are responses to Wednesday's events from across the labor movement.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA):
We are witnessing one of the greatest assaults on our democracy since the Civil War. Today’s attempted coup has been years in the making as Donald Trump consistently spews venom, conspiracies, hate and lies to his supporters. They are carrying out his wishes, and far too many Republican lawmakers have enabled and even encouraged this violent threat to our republic. Emboldened by an Electoral College system that creates an avenue for insurrection instead of simply certifying the candidate with the most votes, this is an effort to violate the constitutional rights of every law-abiding American and the labor movement will not stand for it. Not today. Not ever.
AFL-CIO General Board:
The deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob looking to overturn the results of a free and fair election, encouraged and inspired by President Donald Trump, was one of the greatest attacks on our democracy in American history. And the fact that trespassers were allowed to roam the halls of Congress without consequence is one of the latest examples of why we must tear down the systems and abiders of white supremacy. Trump is an affront to every union member, and a clear and present danger to our nation and our republic. He should resign or be removed from office at once, whether through impeachment or the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This is not a statement America’s labor movement makes lightly. It is not driven by politics or ideology, but rather by the fundamental belief that the preservation of our democracy is essential—though never guaranteed. Hate and insurrection have no place in America.
Actors' Equity (AEA):
What happened yesterday in Washington, D.C. was shocking and unacceptable. For hours, a nation watched white supremacy on display in an illegal attempt to overturn the will of the people and disenfranchise millions of voters in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona and around the nation. There must be consequences and there must be accountability, not just for those who recklessly stormed the Capitol and disrupted the transition, but for the politicians who have shamefully incited this behavior with a steady stream of disinformation and hate. Actors’ Equity was proud to endorse and support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the 2020 election. Never has their work been more important. We look forward to having a president who will uphold his oath of office.
President Lee Saunders, AFSCME:
Yesterday was one of the darkest days in American history. What we saw at the U.S. Capitol was insurrection, sedition and terror enabled by the president of the United States. The 1.4 million members of AFSCME, who dedicate their lives to strengthening their communities instead of trying to tear violently at the national fabric, roundly condemn these acts of vandalism against our democracy. In the end, our institutions were resilient, with Congress finishing its business at hand last night. In 13 days, at that same U.S. Capitol, we will celebrate democracy with the swearing-in of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who will do everything in their power to restore dignity to the presidency and to unify the nation.
International President John Costa, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU):
Today is a dark and devastating day in our country’s history. What was supposed to be a routine procedure to follow the Constitution and certify the democratically decided election turned into a violent siege on the U.S. Capitol and the foundations of our democracy. While our Nation was founded on freedom of speech and the right to have a voice, this was not an exercise of those rights. We condemn the actions of those turning to violence and mob rule. We will not stand for this unprecedented and heinous assault on our democratic principles.
National President Everett Kelley, AFGE:
Today, in a shocking scene watched by Americans across the nation, the president of the United States encouraged a mob of anti-democracy protestors to breach the security perimeter of the U.S. Capitol, forcing a lockdown, and endangering the safety of members of Congress, workers at the Capitol, innocent civilians who live nearby, and the law enforcement officials charged with keeping the peace. It is nothing short of a desperate attempt to use violence to cling onto power after a clear defeat at the ballot box. These rioters must comply with the wishes of law enforcement and leave the area immediately. But no matter what happens today, the people have spoken. Joe Biden will be our next president and Kamala Harris our next vice president. We will not surrender our democracy.
American Federation of Musicians (AFM):
The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada condemns in the strongest terms the mob assault upon the U.S. Capitol Building, which was an attempt to subjugate our democracy and the peaceful and constitutional transfer of power after a lawful presidential election. The attack resulted in desecration, injury, bloodshed, and death in a place that is a symbol of hope and unity. For the sake of our democracy, we urge the immediate end to the incitement of politically motivated violence and we pray for the restoration of order. We implore members of Congress and all other elected officials to speak out against violence in all forms. We ask that all involved in this unconscionable attack be held accountable. We thank law enforcement for keeping our elected officials and their staff safe. We urge everyone, everywhere, to stand together for democracy and the rule of law and against political violence.
President Adam Krauthamer, AFM Local 802:
As musicians, our response to the violent riot this week at the U.S. Capitol building is direct and comes from our heart and soul. As Leonard Bernstein once said: ‘This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.’ Local 802 condemns the hateful speech and lies of outgoing president Donald Trump and we agree with our ally Senator Chuck Schumer that Trump must go now. We appreciate the brave law enforcement officers who stood their ground and we call for justice for those who broke the law. Finally, we celebrate the incoming leadership of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and we look forward to working with the new Democratic majority in Congress to help pass legislation that will benefit musicians and all working people.
President Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers (AFT):
Today, Donald Trump made clear why he shouldn’t be president. He enabled terrorists who stormed the U.S. Capitol and threatened the lives of duly elected officials while the world watched in horror. This reprehensible failure of the executive to protect the legislative branch is unconscionable, and for the safety of this country, Trump cannot leave office soon enough. Today was not a protest, it was an insurrection; President Trump, his accomplices and allies are guilty of incitement and must be held accountable. That starts with Trump’s immediate removal from office. But American democracy is stronger than Donald Trump. In the throes of a deadly pandemic, a crushing recession, a long-overdue reckoning with racial injustice and an ongoing climate crisis, a record number of Americans cast their vote in last year’s presidential election for decency, competence and progress—for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Today, despite partisan and petulant attempts to undo the will of those voters, democracy prevailed. We will teach our children about this moment for centuries to come and will work to restore future generations’ faith in the fidelity of our peaceful transfer of power. Our country continues to face massive challenges, as evidenced by the violent display in Washington today. As we struggle to contain COVID-19, get families back to work and get students safely back to school, let us remember that Trump and many of his right-wing allies continue to focus on obstructing the very function of our government. When we need healing, they promote violence. When we need peace, they sow chaos. They politicize and misrepresent the truth to undermine the free, fair and functional society we aspire to live in, and in doing so, they undermine the very people government is meant to serve. Today was a tragic reminder of just how dangerous an unchecked despot and his followers truly can be. In this election, our democracy was tested by a grown man’s inability to lose, which threatened to jeopardize the great American experiment. A stronger leader would have used this moment as an opportunity to resurrect the tatters of his presidency, restore order and condemn violence. Trump has failed, but thankfully our system remains intact. Let us now begin to rebuild our more perfect union, built on the voices of the many.
American Postal Workers Union (APWU):
On January 6 and 7, members of Congress carried out their Constitutional responsibility and certified the state-by-state election results of the 2020 presidential election. The path has now been cleared for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to be inaugurated on January 20, 2021. Congress completed its duty despite the seditious and violent assaults on the U.S. Capitol, which sought to stop the certification, disenfranchise tens of millions of voters and overturn the results of the election. “The APWU joins the entire labor movement and all fair-minded people across the political spectrum in unequivocally condemning the Trump inspired violent attempted coup to stop Congress from validating the vote of the people,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “This siege was the result of the ‘big lie’ that the election was stolen. The President and those in Congress who have fomented this big lie and pressed these efforts to overthrow the results of this election are driving the country toward authoritarian rule and fascism. They are not fit to hold public office, must be held accountable and should immediately resign or be removed.” Dimondstein continued, “As workers, we know that none of the rights we enjoy have been simply handed to us. They have been won through generations of struggle. As imperfect and incomplete as our democracy may be, our challenge today is to reject these assaults on our rights and re-commit ourselves to the struggle to advance democracy and win social and economic justice for all.” The APWU welcomes the new administration and their pro-postal, pro-union commitments. The APWU also welcomes the two newly elected Senators from GA who prevailed in the GA January 5th “special election” and the improved opportunities for moving pro-worker, pro-postal legislation through the new Congress.
International President Sara Nelson, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:
Air travel is safe because everyone follows a strict set of rules, based on the spirit that ‘we’re all in this together.’ The mob mentality behavior that took place on several flights to the D.C. area yesterday was unacceptable and threatened the safety and security of every single person onboard. It will not happen again. There’s a reason that there are strict penalties and fines for failing to comply with crewmember instructions. Enforcement keeps everyone safe. Our first priority in aviation safety and security is to keep any problems on the ground. Some of the people who traveled in our planes yesterday participated in the insurrection at the Capitol today. Their violent and seditious actions at the Capitol today create further concern about their departure from the D.C. area. Acts against our democracy, our government, and the freedom we claim as Americans must disqualify these individuals from the freedom of flight. We in aviation have a serious role to play in national security. Airlines, in coordination with TSA, DHS, FAA, DOT and law enforcement must take all steps to ensure the safety and security of passengers and crew by keeping all problems on the ground.
As the United States reels from the insurrection events that took place at the U.S. Capitol Building and grounds in an attempt to undermine America’s sacred democracy, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers does not in any way condone or endorse those activities or the people who committed the horrendous acts of trespassing, vandalism, violence, bloodshed and overall assault on democracy. The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers condemns in the strongest possible terms those acts of desecration and violence and the individuals and groups who committed them. Further, the Boilermakers union calls for an immediate end to any attempts to motivate violence or otherwise disrupt the peaceful constitutional transfer of power, and calls upon Boilermaker members, the union’s partners, and all local, state, and national elected officials to work cooperatively to restore order for the sake of democracy in America. To that end, the Boilermakers union is joining with the North America’s Building Trades Union in their announcement this morning offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a person or persons responsible for the murder of United States Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick. Finally, regarding an image captured of a person who was wearing a jacket bearing the Boilermaker insignia and who appears to have been tampering with the tires of a vehicle during Wednesday’s events: The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers does not condone this person’s behavior and will not tolerate acts of criminality. The union will work diligently to identify this person and bring him to the authorities for justice to be served.
President Tim Driscoll, Bricklayers (BAC):
Yesterday, we witnessed an outrageous effort to eradicate the most fundamental tenet of our country’s representative democracy that Government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. That consent is determined through elections where citizens across our country exercise their voice in determining their representatives. The citizens of our country exercised their most essential right in November of 2020 and collectively and decisively determined that Joe Biden would be the 46th President of our nation. The assault on the U.S. Capitol by rioters yesterday was an effort to extinguish the will of the voters of this country by undermining the lawful election process that has governed our country for more than two hundred years. Those rioters deserve to be and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, but it would be shameful if that prosecution did not also extend to those most responsible for inciting these rioters through false and baseless claims. President Trump has surrendered whatever legitimacy he may have claimed to lead our nation and BAC joins the calls for his resignation and/or removal from office. However, those elected officials and enablers of the president that joined in disseminating conspiratorial falsehoods and challenging the certification of the Electoral College results have also forfeited their right to participate in the governing of our nation, and should resign and face prosecution where possible. The ultimate failure of these efforts to invalidate the 2020 election and subvert the U.S. Constitution should not be presumed. We must remain vigilant against those that would seek to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power that our democracy demands.
President Elise Bryant, Coalition of Labor Union Women:
Today, when armed protesters, bent on violence, came to the Capitol where were the troops? What happened to the tear gas and the rubber bullets? The attempted coup, inflamed by a loser, soon to be ex-president, is the America that Donald Trump hopes will keep him in office. Well, he’s wrong and so are his co-conspirators! America's might is not in her weapons, but in the hearts of her people who know right from wrong. A crime has been committed and those who engaged or enabled it shall be investigated, charged, and will pay for their crimes. We, the people, have spoken—it’s time for a new president and today’s lawlessness is proof positive it is time for a change!
President Chris Shelton, Communications Workers of America (CWA):
Yesterday, the world watched as armed insurrectionists, with the encouragement of the president of the United States, launched an attack on the Capitol in an attempt to undermine our democracy and prevent Congress from certifying the results of the presidential election. Two images from their failed attempt to violently invalidate the votes of millions of Americans make their motives absolutely clear: the sight of the confederate flag being paraded through the halls of the Senate and a message scrawled on a door, “Murder the media.” White supremacy is a poison that has been with us since the beginning of our country, and the confederate flag is its symbol, meant to subjugate and terrorize Black, brown, Asian and Pacific Islander and Indigenous people. That was the goal of this mob and the president who asked them to assemble on his behalf. Freedom of the press is the first target of fascists everywhere, as they seek to silence opposition and suppress any information that contradicts the alternate reality that their narcissistic leader creates to support his racist fantasy world. This freedom is enshrined in our Constitution because a healthy democracy is not possible without a free press. There is no doubt that each day that Donald Trump continues to hold the powers of the presidency presents a grave threat to the safety of millions of American and to the stability of our country. He organized an insurrection while ignoring a pandemic. Legislators and members of the Cabinet have taken an oath to defend our Constitution and they must act to remove him from office immediately before he does greater harm to our country and democracy. But we must not fool ourselves. The end of Trump’s presidency does not mean an end to white supremacy in our government. After forcing Congress to flee and vandalizing the Capitol for hours, the insurrectionists were free to walk out the door and head home. After they returned to the Capitol, half of the Republican members of the House of Representatives, who are guilty of aiding and abetting this insurrection, voted to overturn the will of the American people. Far too many politicians enabled Donald Trump to build and sustain power. Corporate CEOs and board members, driven only by the size of their fortunes, continue to extract wealth from our labor and cynically exploit racism for their own gain. Along with the free press, free, democratic labor unions like ours are targets of fascists who fear the power of workers united in common cause. We must remain committed to the fight to strengthen our democracy and resist white supremacy and fascism. We must continue the process we began last spring to deepen our efforts to dismantle racism, including racism within our union. Together we will build power for all working people.
President Jennifer Dorning, Department for Professional Employees:
Yesterday is going to be remembered as one of the darkest days in recent American history. The outgoing president’s divisive language and continued attempts to undermine the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election resulted in an attempted coup. Throughout the Capitol, professionals ranging from congressional staffers to engineers in the office of the Architect of the Capitol work to keep our government running. While news professionals covering Congress roam the halls and chamber galleries to provide critical information to the American public. The Trump supporters’ storming of the Capitol threatened these professionals' lives, along with many others. DPE condemns the acts of yesterday. Violence and hate have no place in our democracy.
International President Lonnie R. Stephenson, Electrical Workers (IBEW):
Today’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by violent extremists represents a direct assault on our democratic system. Blame for this horrific event lies directly on the shoulders of President Trump and his enablers in Congress, who have deliberately spread disinformation about the validity of the 2020 election, threatened our constitutional system by disregarding the will of America’s voters and promoted an atmosphere of violence that led to what happened today. For too long, Trump’s extremist rhetoric, venomous attacks and deranged conspiracy theories have undermined America’s faith in democracy, divided Americans against each other and poisoned political debate in this nation. It’s clear that one more day of Trump in office represents a direct threat to the health of our republic and we demand his immediate resignation. If Trump does not resign, we call on Vice President Mike Pence and members of the cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him. We also condemn the efforts of some Republican lawmakers to overturn the will of the American people by refusing to certify the results of the Electoral College. This represents an unprecedented effort to invalidate a democratic election. Any member of Congress who attempts to thwart the will of the American people as expressed in a democratically held presidential election has no place in the people’s house.
Fire Fighters (IAFF):
The attack on the United States Capitol yesterday by a mob brought to a frenzy by the demagoguery and irresponsible actions of the sitting president of the United States was an attack on the institutional foundations of our nation. The right to free speech and assembly is a fundamental right in a nation built on law and order, however an angry mob determined to stop the process of a free and fair election should be called out for what it is—insurrection. There is no place for seditious actions such as those we witnessed yesterday. The illegal frenzy cost some of our fellow Americans their lives. Those who participated must answer to the laws of our nation for the lives their actions took and the damage they caused to our democracy.
General President Gregory T. Revard, Heat and Frost Insulators (HFIU):
The events that transpired yesterday in our nation’s capital are reprehensible, but also criminal. The use of violence and attempts to halt our democratic process and the peaceful transition of power that has successfully occurred for more than 200 years is a direct result of the actions and directives of President Trump and his various supporters in Congress. Under no circumstance is violence ever the answer. The destruction that happened at the U.S. Capitol is deplorable and nothing short of a domestic terrorist act. Above all else, lives were lost yesterday, which is the greatest tragedy. There were actually two attacks that took place yesterday. One was the siege of the Capitol Building conducted by extremist Trump supporters. The second was the attack waged by certain elected members of Congress who questioned our democracy and attempted to quash the vote to certify the Electoral College results, based on nothing more than falsehoods and baseless conspiracy theories. As a veteran who proudly served in the United States Navy, the ideals of our nation and democracy is what I fought to protect. With a new administration taking over the leadership of our country in a few days, the hope that better days are ahead under more qualified leaders can be the only bright spot in what appears to be some of the darkest days in our nation’s history.
International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE):
IFPTE categorically condemns the violent act of insurrection by President Trump and thousands of his supporters. The blame falls clearly with President Trump himself, and his enablers in Congress, who have instigated and encouraged today’s seditious actions. The people who stormed and took control of our historic Capitol destroyed property, took over offices, and took over chambers of Congress itself, while staff and members were escorted to secure areas to protect their lives. IFPTE further understands that one person was shot and has tragically succumbed to her injuries. Make no mistake about it, this is a transparent effort to overturn a presidential election. It is a culmination of many attempts to undermine our Democracy and prevent our Democratically elected President-Elect from assuming office on January 20th. These people are not "protestors," they are domestic terrorists and should be treated as such in the eyes of the law. The United States does not bow to domestic terrorism. IFPTE calls on Vice President Pence to exercise the 25th Amendment and move to immediately have President Trump removed from office.
General President Terry O’Sullivan, Laborers (LIUNA):
The disgusting violence during the Congressional Electoral College vote debate today, marks a repulsive moment in the history of the United States of America. Our country is better than this. What happened today is a direct result of the irresponsible and reprehensible lies and misinformation fomented by President Trump and his allies. After losing roughly 60 legal challenges, including in the Supreme Court, the continued deceit spread by him and his enablers is deplorable and un-American. Their attempts to undermine a fair and legal election are tantamount to treason. He and his lackeys have attacked our democracy, inciting violence and insurrection. LIUNA also condemns the Republican Members of Congress who have refused to certify the legitimate electoral college results. With their actions, they have declared themselves enemies of our great Republic and democracy. LIUNA will never forget who they are. I am convinced more than ever that in spite of the division, strife, and the violence which we saw today, our nation, our democracy, and our institutions will never be broken and will continue on as long as we stand together and work together. We must come together and move past this terrible and tragic moment. We as a country are bigger and better than our disagreements. There are many more individuals of courage and sense than the cowards who attacked us today. The American people and the strong, proud and united brothers and sisters of LIUNA understand the meaning of dedication, commitment and solidarity. Let us recommit ourselves to working together for the common good, a stronger democracy and the economic well-being of the working-class of this country.
President Fred Rolando, Letter Carriers (NALC):
Yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, just steps from our headquarters, was a disgraceful betrayal of our democracy, our elected officials and the law enforcement personnel who protect them. That it was incited by the outgoing president of the United States makes it all the more appalling. We condemn it in the strongest possible terms. Letter carriers, like our fellow American citizens, are diverse, opinionated and passionate about their values and politics, which NALC appreciates and celebrates. But a line has been crossed that can never be excused, accepted or repeated. Yesterday, should have been a peaceful and happy day. One on which members of Congress represented their constituents and the will of their states’ voters by formally certifying presidential election results. It should have been a day when dissenting Americans gathered peacefully to exercise their First Amendment rights to protest. Instead, a mob, triggered by a president who refuses to accept the results of our recent election, attempted to thwart the hallmark of our democracy for more than two centuries–the peaceful transfer of power. That is unforgivable. Although it is deeply saddening that four people lost their lives, we can take some solace in the fact that the attack on our democracy utterly failed. After order was restored, a joint session of Congress reconvened and certified the results of the 2020 Election by accepting the votes of the Electoral College. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamal Harris will be inaugurated on January 20, 2021. We believe President-elect Biden’s record of working with leaders in both parties to make progress and build unity will help us overcome the poisonous partisanship that has plagued our country for so long. I hope every member of our union will join me in doing our part to heal the deep divisions that led to yesterday’s tragedy.
International President Robert Martinez Jr., Machinists (IAM):
Violence is never the answer. The rioters in Washington, DC will not stop our sacred traditions of democracy and the peaceful transfer of power. The Machinists Union and the labor movement will not stand for it.
President Cecil Roberts, Mine Workers (UMWA):
The violence that swept up Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. yesterday was sickening to all true Americans. There is nothing wrong with peaceful protest. Every American has the right to protest and to make our voice heard. I and millions of others who served in our nation’s armed forces fought our country’s wars to secure that right. But no one, no matter how high their office, has the right to incite violence. No one, no matter how deep their grievance, has the right to destroy property. No one, no matter what their political views, has the right to threaten members of Congress and their staffs who are performing their constitutional duty on behalf of all of us. We saw all of that yesterday, and worse. People are dead. Police officers are injured. And for what? Nothing was changed. Congress discharged its duty and America’s democratic principles prevailed. All we are left with are the images of a violent mob attacking the very foundation of our Republic. Once they did that, they stopped being protesters and became criminals. America is better than that.
Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN, National Nurses United (NNU):
Nurses agree with the statement by President-elect Biden that "our democracy is under unprecedented assault, unlike anything we have seen in modern times’ and his labelling of the violent assault on the Capitol today as insurrection.” As nurses, we are deeply disturbed by the scenes of violence and threats to our elected leaders, the dedicated people who work in the Capitol, and anyone else subjected to this unconscionable attack on our most fundamental symbols of democracy. This was a violent attempt to stop Congress from confirming the people’s choice for president and vice president. As such, it’s an attack on democracy itself, instigated by the president of the United States. The actions we have seen unfold today are the inevitable result of what President Trump has inspired and incited for years, from encouraging attacks on protesters at his rallies and on officials ordering safety measures in response to the pandemic, to embracing armed white supremacists, to the constant demonization, in the starkest of terms, of his political opponents. All of that has escalated in the weeks leading to the election, and especially after the November vote when the president has denounced the legitimacy of a democratic election, promoted outlandish conspiracy theories, and urged his armed supporters to act to "save this country.” The president has been encouraging sedition. No one is above the law. He is responsible for the scenes we have seen today at the Capitol and he should be held accountable. We, as a nation, must come together to begin to heal, to refocus first and foremost on containing this terrible pandemic, and on being able to respect political differences and rebuild a democracy that has been so endangered.
President Sean McGarvey, North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU):
Today’s despicable events are unprecedented, and, as we have all seen, are extremely dangerous. North America’s Building Trades Unions call on President Trump to immediately step down and transfer power per the Constitution and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947. If he refuses, the Cabinet must immediately invoke the 25th amendment to remove the president. Any less action by the Cabinet, and America should consider them all co-conspirators. We also call on Senators Cruz and Hawley to immediately resign along with the twelve other U.S. Senators and the 140 House members objecting to the Electoral College certification. They all must step down immediately. We call on a bipartisan commission to investigate and identify all planners, funders, and coordinators of this attempted coup and refer them to prosecution by the U.S. Justice Department, and further for them to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If these actions are not taken immediately, in anticipation of what is already one of the worst domestic episodes in our country’s history, things could get much worse over the next 14 days very quickly. Thus, we urge all law-abiding Americans to stand up and demand the same to protect our precious democracy from tyrants and thugs.
General President James T. Callahan, Operating Engineers (IUOE):
The attack on our Capitol by a mob of rioters, supported and cheered on by some who swore an oath to protect and defend our democracy, is an affront to all who have served and sacrificed for our nation. These were not the actions of patriots, rather they were dangerous and disgraceful acts of political extremists. Leading this insurrection were President Trump and his allies. For weeks, Trump has trafficked in lies and conspiracy theories to deny the legitimate outcome of the election. The truth is he lost both the Electoral College and popular vote in a free and fair election. His reprehensible actions culminating in yesterday’s tragic events should disqualify him from holding public office one day longer. Despite the terror and damage inflicted upon “the people’s house,” the foundations of our democracy remain solid. Undaunted, House and Senate lawmakers finished their work and certified the presidential electoral vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The Operating Engineers look forward to working with the Biden Administration and beginning the critical work of rebuilding our infrastructure, safely bringing an end to the COVID-19 crisis and remaking our economy to lift all working families into the American middle class. We can and we will build back better.
Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT):
We are saddened by today's flagrant attack on our democracy. The attempted coup has been instigated by too many Republican politicians, namely Donald Trump. Any politician who incited or promoted what happened today is no friend of workers. We stand with our sisters and brothers in the labor movement ready to defend our democratic institutions.
Office and Professional Employees:
Yesterday was one of the darkest, most shameful days in our nation's history. Incited by the rhetoric of Donald Trump, domestic terrorists stormed the U.S. Capitol and threatened the lives of our nation's lawmakers, their staffs and the men and women who serve what President-Elect Joe Biden called "the citadel of liberty." This insurrection was directly incited by President Trump and his allies and they must be held accountable. This president has violated his oath to the nation to defend and protect our constitution. He must immediately be removed from office. Despite his reckless and dangerous actions, our democracy—though tested and strained—has held. Last night, lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill and certified the presidential electoral vote for Joe Biden and Vice President Elect Kamala Harris. It's now time to move forward to this new administration and begin the difficult work of rebuilding our democracy, leading us safely through the COVID-19 crisis and rebuilding our economy for all working families by putting Americans back to work.
Executive Director Jerame Davis, Pride At Work:
What we’re witnessing at the Capitol today is nothing less than an attack on our country and on our people brought to life by a president who refuses to accept that millions turned out to elect Joe Biden by overwhelming margins. Let there be no doubt, this is what terrorism looks like: an angry mob violently invading our Capitol and threatening our elected leaders, even the very Republican leaders—who egged them on. We are here today due to the cheering of some Republicans and the silence of others. This president and his Republican allies fed lie after lie to their supporters about this election in order to undermine the will of the people and desperately attempt to hold onto power they clearly do not deserve. They will not prevail.
President Stuart Appelbaum, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU):
The events that occurred in our nation’s capital yesterday should have horrified all people living in our country. The very act of storming the U.S. Capitol in the name of overturning this election directly undermines our democracy. At the same time, we are dismayed by the wholly inadequate response from law enforcement officials. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen a historic movement for racial justice grow in this country. Unfortunately, the response from the President, law enforcement, and the national guard at many Black Lives Matter rallies throughout our cities could not have been more different. It pains us to watch the security at the Capitol put up little to no resistance as they both let in and escorted out the people attempting this coup against our nation. We have to be clear—the probable reason that this coup attempt was not dealt with in the same way as the Black Lives Matter rallies was because the people attempting it were white and not seen as threatening. We must call this out and take a stand against the deep racism that allows a situation like this to take place. It cannot be lost on us that Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to “take action” and “stand by” for January 6th as he continues to spread conspiracies and lies about the results of this election. In the labor movement, we’re used to employers using these same kinds of tactics to undermine workers’ rights and keep working people disempowered. As a union, we know how to overcome division and bring people from many different backgrounds together with a common goal for justice. Although Trump lost this election, we can’t expect this way of thinking to disappear once he is removed from office. We need to join together across race, gender, and class lines to push back against Trumpian logic and this rise of the far right. Our democracy depends on it.
SAG-AFTRA condemns in the strongest terms yesterday’s attack on America’s foundational principles. Rioters, emboldened and encouraged by a sitting president and his enablers who have peddled baseless conspiracy theories, stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to subvert democracy. As a union and a democratic organization, we are appalled by this attack on the values we hold most sacred. The disgraceful scenes coming out of the nation’s capital have undermined America’s institutions and its standing in the world. Displays of the Confederate flag and other symbols of white supremacy and hate were meant to subjugate and terrorize people of color and those of certain faiths. This poison attacks the diverse membership of our union and the labor movement. Yesterday’s attack was an inevitable result of sustained misinformation campaigns that attempt to discredit journalists while weaving a counter-narrative based on falsehoods. Our members include broadcast journalists, who have been increasingly targeted by extremists who feel threatened by the facts. The number of attacks on journalists has spiked in the last year, and members of yesterday's mob attacked broadcast journalists and destroyed cameras and other equipment, and left graffiti on a Capitol door reading “Murder the Media,” leaving no question where they stand. The reckless rhetoric by some leaders—including many members of Congress who continued to perpetuate lies even after the attack—is damaging the fabric of our nation and costing lives. SAG-AFTRA is nonpartisan, representing members of all political views, but we cannot be silent as an angry, violent group attempts to rob the American people of their right to self-governance. We denounce this attempted insurrection and all who support it.
International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART):
We have just witnessed a sad day in American history. Leave no doubt, these violent, anti-democratic actions were incited by the current president and his cohorts—both elected and unelected—who have misled their supporters for far too long. SMART, along with our sisters and brothers across the labor movement, rejects all threats to a peaceful transition of power and stands ready to defend our nation’s democratic institutions.
International President Matthew D. Loeb, Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE):
When Pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the United States Capitol building in Washington D.C. today, we watched one of the most egregious assaults on our Democracy in American History. This is unacceptable in America, and we can never allow it to happen again. Make no mistake, the people who incited this radical terrorist attack, including those within our own government, are culpable in their propagation of criminal acts and must be held accountable. And lest we forget the politicians who, by malice or ignorance, enabled this behavior by acting as Donald Trump’s personal lapdogs over the last four years. To those who stood back and stood by while propagandists attempted to poison our republic: Your remarkable and embarrassing display of spinelessness will not be forgotten. But right now it is of the utmost possible urgency to do the right thing and ensure a peaceful transition of power in this unprecedented moment. The American people deserve better, because they voted for it. Real American Leadership will be restored when Joe Biden is inaugurated January 20th. The will of the people is sacred and no transgressor will deny it.
Transport Workers Union (TWU):
The TWU strongly condemns the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol yesterday. Working people in the Capitol were put senselessly at risk, for doing the essential work of our democracy. We stand with trade union movement in the fight for a stronger, more peaceful democracy.
Secretary-Treasurer Greg Regan, Transportation Trades Department:
It is the tragic, but natural conclusion to four years of leadership by a president who put his own financial, legal, and personal wellbeing squarely before the needs of the nation at every turn. A president who peddled in conspiracy theories and lies, rather than a respect for the power of his office and the citizens it serves.
Union Veterans Council:
The Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO denounces today’s attempted coup in Washington D.C and at the U.S. Capitol building. This assault on our democracy and on the safety of U.S. citizens was fueled by the venomous rhetoric of President Donald Trump and his continued refusal to acknowledge his loss in November’s election, and enabled by many Republican lawmakers who have followed the president’s every whim. As service members, we fought for the safety of our democracy and the sanctity of our constitution, and we will not stand to see violent extremists and political enablers attack both. The Union Veterans Council calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice under the full force of U.S. law.
President D. Taylor and Secretary-Treasurer Gwen Mills, UNITE HERE:
THIS is what Democracy looks like. It’s Joyce. Hannah. Melissa. Ron. And 1000 other UNITE HERE canvassers and so many more, who in the face of loss and white nationalist terrorists, nevertheless... persisted. Knocking on millions of doors. Sharing their stories. Of grief. Of survival. Of hope. Inspiring thousands of people to vote their conscience. To vote for change. And in so doing, we are taking back our country. Building on the work of our allies, we took back the Senate by winning two seats in Georgia in the heart of the South—just as we took back the presidency through our hard work in Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Florida. Today, let’s not forget this labor and what we have achieved together to create a more perfect union. Today, we celebrate the power of our solidarity and what we have done together to keep the spirit of democracy alive.
General President Mark McManus, United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA):
Today’s vote to certify the Electoral College results is one of many steps in the sacred and peaceful transition of power in this country. The right to peacefully protest is enshrined in the Constitution, but today’s display of lawlessness and violence is dangerous and a threat to our democracy. Make no mistake about it: the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol today have no interest in the rule of law. We are grateful to law enforcement and the first responders who have worked tirelessly, and continue to do so, to protect Members of Congress, their staffs, and our fellow American citizens. In any election, the very heart of our democracy is at stake—regardless of your political affiliation or preference. Loyal opposition and advocating for your beliefs, peacefully and within the law, should and must be the norm. For over 131 years, the United Association has followed this norm even as we have disagreed with a wide range of politicians, and we will continue to do so. Quite frankly, we are better than this as a country and as a society at large. Every UA member can do his or her part to respect all opinions, look out for our collective families, and try to be a positive force in this country we all love.
President Rory Gamble, UAW:
This is a very sad day for our nation and our democracy. This is not how this great nation, nor responsible citizens handle elections or our differences. We are a better people than this storming mob and I am optimistic that despite today’s events, we will regain our footing and we will move forward for the greater good of all of us. As a nation, we are learning in a profound way that we all have a personal responsibility to safeguard this democracy. We cannot take our system of government for granted and we must be vigilant to ensure that our democracy maintains its historical position as the gold standard for freedom and liberty. Today’s actions must not be allowed to alter that. This is truly a singular point in our history. The violence at the Capitol today is a deliberate and despicable attempt by extremists to disrupt our great republic. It will not succeed. We, as a nation, are stronger than this one shameful incident. There is room in this great democracy, as in our own union, for disagreement. It is one of the great strengths of our democratic system. We are better than that and today above all, we must remember that there is more that unites us than divides us. There is absolutely no room for this type of mob rule in a functioning democratic system. This is a day none of us should or will ever forget. But please let us remember that there is much work to be done—and we must take the personal responsibility to do it together. We are the United States and unite we must. I urge us all to work together to move forward and heal our nation.
United Steelworkers (USW):
President Donald Trump spent the last four years stoking the flames of division, feeding a constant stream of deliberate misinformation to his base and openly attacking the basic tenets of American democracy. His focus has been his own self-interest and not on the preservation of our nation or his constitutional duties as the president. Yesterday, his inflammatory rhetoric finally culminated in a group of his misguided supporters storming the U.S. Capitol, and putting the lives of government leaders and workers at risk. Tragically, four people are now dead as a result of this unpatriotic attack, and America is left to pick up the pieces in the wake of domestic terrorism he has spurred. The USW is repulsed by this episode and this president, but we are determined to do everything we can to protect our republic and ensure President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s peaceful transition to the White House on Jan. 20. As a free and independent labor movement, we can never stand by and watch a demagogue tear down our institutions and rights as Americans. The nation is not Donald Trump’s private playground. The people have spoken, as they do every four years, and it is time to move forward rebuilding our country on a firm foundation of equality, justice and peace.
Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE):
Incited by the outgoing President, an angry mob of far-right extremists invaded our nation’s Capitol this week with the express purpose of preventing Congress from certifying the results of the Presidential election. Many WGAE members have written about the dangers of hateful rhetoric and of vilifying people because of their race or gender, religion or political philosophy. Our members’ warnings proved true with this violent insurrection. We condemn this organized, pre-meditated attempt to thwart the will of the American electorate. We condemn those who participated directly and those who stoked the ugly flames of bigotry and delusion through their speeches, tweets and statements to the press. As a union, we understand political passion and dissent. We understand mobilization and protest. That is not what happened in D.C. this week. It was a racist, authoritarian coup attempt, wrapped in the flags of the outgoing President and of the Confederate states whose mission was to preserve enslavement. If the nation is to move forward, we must be unequivocal in our opposition to the anti-democratic, far-right demagoguery and the violence that inevitably follows. We look forward to working with elected officials who are committed to the rights of working people and to amplifying the voices of the oppressed. There is much work to do. Let us recommit to it.
President Vince Beltrami (IBEW), Alaska AFL-CIO:
We. Are. Angry. Angry at an assault on our nation’s hallowed capital and our elected representatives—Angry at a president who blatantly incited insurrection perpetrated by domestic terrorists—Angry that so many Americans have been sucked into the disgusting cloud of lies spewed daily for four years by this president—Angry that the US Senate and a large minority in the House of Representatives have been not only complicit but have given false credence to this wannabe dictator and his assault on our sacred Constitution. And yet this president has simultaneously and incredulously somehow convinced many Americans that he and they are standing up FOR the Constitution. The hypocrisy is staggering. Never has our country had as ill-suited a person sit in the most powerful seat in the land. For any successes his supporters may claim, and there are a few we might even agree with, the rest of his behavior has done nothing but embolden fringe elements from all corners of this vast country, resulting in yesterday’s clear act of sedition against the United States of America. This president has sown more division and hatred between Americans than any other president in the two and a half centuries of our republic’s existence. Yesterday, our country saw the icing on the cake, the indelible stain, the outright assault, and what should be the final straw; a direct assault on our greatest governmental institution by the “Commander-in-Chief” himself. The country cannot endure 14 more days with this extremely unhinged narcissist in charge of anything. It is the duty of our Alaska Congressional Delegation to say enough is enough. While we don’t generally agree with Vice-President Mike Pence on much of anything, he appears recently to have displayed a modicum of honor and should immediately assume all duties of the president until the pending inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, through whatever means necessary: impeachment, via the 25th Amendment, or any other legal and possible means to remove Donald J. Trump from the White House as soon as humanly possible. This invocation of insurrection is as anti-American as anything ever perpetrated against our country. It cannot stand. It cannot go unpunished. This is a clarion call to uphold, protect, and save our great country. We must heed this call and heed it quickly. We ignore it at great peril. Congressman Young, Senator Murkowski, and Senator Sullivan, it is time for you to lead. Alaska, and indeed the entire United States, is counting on you.
California Labor Federation:
We call on California Republican members of Congress, especially [GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy], to immediately and forcefully condemn this attempted coup by white supremacist terrorists acting at Trump’s behest. Trust and believe we will not forget those who stayed silent during this civil unrest.
President Charlie Flemming (IAM) and Secretary Treasurer Yvonne Brooks (AFSCME), Georgia AFL-CIO:
The Georgia AFL-CIO, the state’s largest federation of Georgia’s working people, wholeheartedly condemns the unconscionable attempted insurrections on the Georgia and U.S Capitol buildings. Yesterday was supposed to be a day of celebration and elation as Americans across the country woke up to the news that Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff were projected to win their historical Senate runoff election races. By midday, we witnessed in horror as President Donald Trump, fresh off the heels from spreading months of lies about the presidential election, sparked and encouraged an insurrection that laid siege to the very center of our democracy. And here in Georgia, we watched as one of the brightest days in our state’s history turned into catastrophe as an armed pro-Trump mob of white supremacist militias swarmed our state Capitol, leading to the evacuation of Brad Raffensberger and his staff members. This is not what America’s labor movement stands for and we will not stand for this. President Trump has abused his office and is a clear and present danger to American citizens. We call on Congress to hold every person involved in this unconscionable attack accountable, from the Atlanta Police Department, to the Capitol Police, to Republican congressional leaders.
President John R. Durso and Executive Director Roger Clayman, Long Island Federation of Labor:
Make no mistake about it, what we witnessed last week at the U.S. Capitol was an insurrection. It was orchestrated by the President and enabled by elected Republicans who have refused to stand up to him. It was a disgrace and a very dark day in American history. Representative Lee Zeldin and a group of right-wing fellow travelers in Congress pushed objections to the presidential election that never had any basis in fact or evidence. That act, in and of itself, is despicable. Attempting to undermine elections without evidence undermines the foundation of democracy. As a trade union movement, we understand the historical significance of democracy as the cornerstone of our rights. The laws protecting working people are far from perfect, and we work tirelessly to change them and make our voices heard – without violence. This president and his cronies are no friends of working families and no friends of America. The violence in the sacred halls of government cannot be disentangled from the seditious actions of Rep. Zeldin and other Republican right wingers.
President Ron Herrera (IBT), Los Angeles County Federation of Labor:
Yesterday, an attempted coup breached America’s most sacred building to undermine our most sacred institution, our electoral process. This violent attack by a mob on our democracy put the safety of not only our representatives, but of working people such as janitors, maintenance workers, and staff members at risk. While we may be outraged and even shocked, we are certainly not surprised. Years of violent rhetoric and a massive misinformation campaign has created an environment of hate and distrust, culminating in yesterday’s disgraceful events at our nation’s capital. But these are only symptoms of issues of much larger systemic problems. The chaos of our democracy started in our workplaces and in our communities, hurting working families and pitting working people against each other. Now this chaos has spread to our nation’s capital and our screens for the entire world to see. It is undeniable and impossible to ignore. We see today the broken windows and splintered doors left behind. But as always, who is left to pick up the pieces? Who shows up the next morning to clean the mess? It is our essential workers—our frontline heroes, the majority of which are workers of color—who come in and bring order and calmness after tragedy. These workers are what’s best in us and we should take note: all that is broken can be fixed with intention and determination. This may be a dark moment in our history, but it is our next steps that will define us. Let us work together to heal the wounds of yesterday and pick up the shattered pieces of today. We must walk in solidarity towards healing so that we may persevere united as Americans; just as we have done so many times before. If the Labor Movement has shown us anything, it is that no matter your background or walk of life, we can build a more just society for all.
Michigan State AFL-CIO:
President Ron Bieber (UAW) also called out Michigan's Republican members of Congress Lisa McClain, Tim Walberg and Jack Bergman, who have suggested they will vote later this week to throw out Michigan's 5.56 million votes for president in an illegal, unconstitutional attempt to hand the presidential election to the loser, Donald Trump. What these Republicans are trying to do is not only blatantly illegal and undemocratic—it's un-American. They obviously know that these conspiracy theories are false and ridiculous, which is why they all voted to seat themselves just yesterday. It's time for them to drop their objections to the same ballots they were elected on, stop trying to steal the election, and move forward.
President Vincent Alvarez (IBEW), New York City Central Labor Council:
This week, working families across our city and nation were witness to one of the darkest days in our history, as a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn a free and fair election and prevent a peaceful and constitutional transfer of power. Freedom of speech is one of our most fundamental principles, and every American has the right to protest and to make their voices heard. But that's not what this was. Wednesday's events, instigated by Donald Trump and his enablers, constituted an unprecedented attack on our democracy from within our own borders. Not only were our members of Congress and their staffs threatened, so was the safety of the thousands of hard working men and women who keep our Capitol running. All Americans must come together to not only condemn these attacks, but to hold accountable those within our own government who poured fuel on the fire by spreading lies and inciting their followers to politically motivated violence.
President Mike Pilcher (IAFF), Northern Nevada Central Labor Council:
President Trump's Stop the Steal rally yesterday, his indirect call for insurrection, and the resulting coup attempt and violence are inexcusable. What we’re seeing is an attack on our country, on our people, brought on by a president who refuses to accept that millions of us turned out to stand with and for each other and elect Joe Biden by overwhelming margins. American blood staining the United States Capital represents an unconscionable assault on our democracy, our people and our principles. We must stand together, as one union, to counter the dark forces of corruption and selfish individualism. We demand bold action immediately to hold those complicit in inciting today’s attack accountable and to make this country a true democracy, where the will of the people determines the actions of our leaders and results in a government of the people, by the people and for the people—the working class people. Organized Labor will stand united, stay together and continue our collective efforts against organized greed.
Yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol and on our democracy at the hands of law-breaking thugs will forever be remembered as one of America’s darkest days and those responsible must be held accountable. This tragic event was years in the making, as so many of us in the house of Labor had warned against, by the coddling and enabling of a lying, corrupt, and dangerous president. Let this serve as a catastrophic lesson as to what can happen when those elected to public office traffic in conspiracy theories, misinformation, and lies, to benefit their own narrow political fortunes or twisted personal agendas, at the expense of what’s best for the country. We must never forget this tragedy and what led to it and now must come together to restore trust and faith in our democratic institutions. We also call on Congress to get to the bottom of what appeared to be an unacceptable lack of building security and how this happened.
President Graham Trainor (UAW), Oregon AFL-CIO:
We witnessed one of the greatest assaults on democracy in the history of our great nation today. Oregon’s unions condemn this violent attack. Make no mistake: this act did not happen casually nor without instruction. For years, President Donald Trump has spewed conspiracies, hate and outright lies to his supporters and today’s attack in our nation’s capital is the result of his words and actions. Our country is in the grip of a deadly pandemic. We need our government to be able to function without fear of the violence we saw today in Washington D.C. and last month in Salem. There is too much important work to do to deliver much needed relief to working people. This kind of obstructionist violence cannot continue.
President Kevin Gundlach (AFSCME), South Central Federation of labor:
The South Central Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO condemns the insurrectionists who attacked our U.S. Capitol and all those who work and serve within it. Let’s make this clear. The responsibility lies equally on those who committed these atrocious acts, as well Trump and his Republican allies in Congress, who continued to stoke the conspiratorial lies and incited this mob. This was not an expression of democracy. This was an attack against it. We stand with our sisters and brother of the AFL-CIO, all of labor, and all honorable Americans to protect our democracy from such seditious and treasonous acts.
President Rick Levy, Texas AFL-CIO:
The Texas labor movement condemns yesterday’s outright assault on our democracy, a seditious insurrection aided and abetted by officials who are sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Donald Trump, who will be gone from the White House soon, did not act alone. He was shamelessly and cynically enabled by the likes of Ted Cruz, Ken Paxton, Greg Abbott and several Texas Republicans in Congress. The overrunning of the Capitol is a natural result when politicians fan the flames of racism with lies and bogus conspiracies—not just over the last four weeks, but over the last four years. The coming days will shed light on how one of the most sacred halls in our country was breached, tearing at the heart of our nation’s peaceful transfer of power. We look forward to seeing everyone who had a hand in this historically awful moment held accountable, whether by criminal or political processes. For now, we make one thing clear: The Texas labor movement will fight like hell for our members and to protect our democracy.
Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation:
On Wednesday, we witnessed one of the worst attacks on our Democracy since the Civil War. On a day we should have been celebrating the against-all-odds election of a pro-worker majority to the U.S. Senate, right-wing vigilantes, armed with bats, guns, and pipe bombs, forced their way into the U.S. Capitol in a planned attempt to block the will of the people by preventing certification of Joe Biden as president. Incited by Donald J. Trump, these treasonous opponents of racial equality and democracy desecrated the national capitol with the Confederate flag, then, with few exceptions, were allowed to walk out without arrest. This attempted coup was an attack on all of us—our Constitution, our democracy, and our country. It is the consequence of a repetition of lies and conspiracy theories by a president who refuses to accept that millions of us turned out to stand with and for each other to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris by overwhelming margins. The violence was stoked by the baseless allegations of election fraud conjured by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and far too many others in the last two months. The lessons of history were ignored, as Republican officials put short-term political gain ahead of their constitutional responsibilities. Standing amidst the glass of shattered windows in the US Capitol Wednesday night, Gulf Coast Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Brian Babin, Rep. Troy Nehls, Rep. Pete Sessions, and Rep. Randy Weber joined a majority of the Texas GOP Congressional delegation in voting to undo the results of a fair and free election. In so doing, these men abdicated their responsibility to the American people and violated their oath to defend the U.S. Constitution. We must never forget. Ted Cruz and other Republicans who set the stage for Wednesday’s insurrection by attacking the legitimacy of the November election are no longer fit for office. They should resign immediately and face consequences. We call on the members of the Gulf Coast Congressional delegation to act immediately to remove Donald Trump from office. We call upon them to investigate and sanction those Congress members who broke their oath of office by attempting to overturn the election, including removal from office. Further, we demand the Texas House of Representatives immediately begin impeachment proceedings against Attorney General Ken Paxton and any other state official who supported the attack on the Capitol Building and sought to overturn the results of the November election. Democracy is the voice for all. The labor movement will not let anyone take it away from us.
President Larry Brown (IAM) and Secretary-Treasurer April Sims (AFSCME), Washington State Labor Council:
Today, we are all seeing a sitting president incite a mob to prevent the peaceful transition of power. We know that today’s events are traumatizing for so many of us, especially as we watch the stark contrast between the treatment of the pro-Trump rioters attempting a coup, and the treatment of Black Lives Matter protestors demanding justice for all Americans. We cannot ignore that Republicans, including Washington’s own Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, have encouraged and enabled this desperate attempt to hold onto power to distract from their failure to help working families get critical pandemic relief in the midst of crisis.
President Stephanie Bloomingdale (AFT), Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:
“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic...” That’s the oath of office Senator Ron Johnson took. And that’s the oath he has repeatedly violated. His efforts to spread universally debunked conspiracy theories about the election being stolen and his willingness to join with other Republican members of Congress in obstructing today’s formal, constitutionally mandated tally of the Electoral College vote represent a shocking breach of trust. Whether Senator Johnson and the others who participated in this political malpractice are motivated by a delusional belief in Donald Trump’s claims of electoral fraud or simply cynical political calculation, they share responsibility for the shocking events in the U.S. Capitol today. Their complicity in this direct assault on our democratic system is as clear as if they joined the rioters smashing windows, ransacking the Capitol and violating our nation’s most sacred civic space. These actions are part of a troubling and toxic loyalty to a political party rather than to the people they were elected to serve. Sadly, at both the state and federal level, too many of Wisconsin’s elected Republicans have consistently placed their personal interests and preservation of partisan power ahead of the needs of the people of our state. The threat to our democracy that this brand of hyper-partisanship represents was foreseen by our first president. In his farewell address in 1796, George Washington warned attachment to party over the common good, “agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, and foments occasionally riot and insurrection.” It’s time for Senator Johnson and other Wisconsin Republicans to free themselves from the grip of the legitimately defeated 45th president and reflect on the wisdom of our first.
Economic Policy Institute:
Yesterday, at the incitement of President Trump, a large crowd of mostly white domestic terrorists attempted to overtake the U.S. Capitol in a violent coup attempt—while threatening the safety of members of Congress, Hill staff, cafeteria workers, maintenance workers, janitors, and other working people who show up to work every day to make our legislative branch function. This is a terrifying, but not surprising, way to end President Trump’s term, which has been bolstered by white supremacists who have sought to overturn the election results based on a massive misinformation campaign. Trump should be removed from office for his seditious actions, either by invoking the 25th amendment or through impeachment. Law enforcement officers who failed to protect the American people yesterday should also be held accountable. Police were seen taking selfies with protestors and letting them through a barricaded area. The majority of the terrorists who breached the U.S. Capitol were allowed to return home without consequence, despite their violent acts. This is in stark contrast to the actions taken by law enforcement officers this summer, who used tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful Black Lives Matters protestors—who were fighting against systematic racism. “We need to stand up to racism,” said EPI President Thea Lee. “We urge President-elect Biden and the next Congress to prioritize racial equity as they develop a policy platform to help working people recover from the economic and public health aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The next Senate should pass D.C. statehood, which will give Washington, D.C., residents the power to call in the National Guard and not have to rely on the president for their safety. The residents of D.C. deserve to be protected with the full power and respect of a state government and the right to elect leaders to advocate for them in Congress.