Wednesday May 25, 2022
Wednesday May 25, 2022

Candlelight vigil held to mark Jan 6 attack

2022 Jan 07, 14:06, Washington

American citizens on January 6 last year, watched the news in disbelief as a violent mob descended upon the US Capitol in Washington, DC, leaving them appalled at the state of the nation.

One year later, hundreds gathered Thursday evening in front of the US Capitol to commemorate the anniversary of the 2021 attack on the US Capitol, participating in a display meant to promote protecting American democracy.

It had been overwhelming to see how the country responded to the attacks and people were there to stand up for that.

The Vigil organized by a coalition of more than 100 liberal groups, saw a few hundred people gathered on the National Mall near the Capitol Reflecting Pool. The racially diverse crowd chanted and sang, seeking to transform last year's pain into policy change.

Several US lawmakers including Congresswoman Pramila Jaypal, Congressman Jamie Raskin, and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton spoke about their experiences inside the Capitol that day during the event.

Jaypal, who was at the Capitol complex on the morning of January 6 last year, reflected on what happened inside the Capitol building.

"I remember every moment of it vividly. I remember the pounding on the doors of the insurrectionists. I remember crawling on my knees under bannisters... thinking about how if I couldn't get up and leave ... I would attack the knees of whoever came to attack me." One year after the attack Jaypal now worries for American democracy "I think our democracy is still fragile and we have to make sure that we actually protect accountability and justice," the lawmaker told.

Rep. Jamie B. Raskin, who mourned his son's suicide and the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump following the attack., reflected on what happened on January 6. Speaking to ANI Raskin said his presence at the vigil was "for standing up and restoring democracy."

Raskin is also a member of the January 6 House select committee and is tasked with investigating the cause and who was behind the Jan. 6 insurrection, among other things.

"The attack was not only an attack on democracy, but it was also an attack on the District of Columbia, where we are now standing," the DC-based lawmaker Norton said.

Speakers also demanded the Senate and Biden enact the Freedom to Vote Act, a voting rights bill, and the Protecting Our Democracy Act, which includes reforming oversight of the executive branch, among other legislation. They pointed to restrictive voting legislation passed by Republican-led state legislatures across the country and said the Jan. 6 attack highlighted the need for federal voting rights protections and expansions before the next election.

Demonstrators held signs reading "No Trump. No Lie. No G.O.P.", "Voters decide outcomes of U.S. elections", "senators protest our democracy now" and "DC statehood is racial justice."

"We are looking to our elected officials to continue to investigate the insurrection but also to pass urgently needed voting rights legislation and democracy reform legislation that will protect this country," said Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of Public Citizen, a progressive non-profit and one of the groups that organized the event.

69-year-old Bill Wood from Maryland carried a huge sign that had 'Traitor' on Former President Trump's image. "If I carried this sign one year ago to the Pro-Trump protest I would have been beaten up, so I'm here to make up for that." Wood further added, "If Trump was an average person if he wasn't rich, wasn't white, he would be in jail right now."

Mickey, another participant who was present a year ago counter-protesting Trump supporters on the Capitol Hill. "The progress of the investigation has been very slow I've r that one year, my concern is the next election could go to the Republicans," Mickey said.

The event was part of a nationwide demonstration called "We the People: January 6th Day of Remembrance and Action" had more than 350 chapters nationwide.


US Capitol insurrection candlelight vigil anniversary riot Washington America USA Democracy Trump Joe Biden
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