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January 7, 2021

On January 6, 2021, right-wing extremists in the United States attempted a coup. Emboldened by President Donald Trump’s vows to “never concede” – and explicitly encouraged by him to march to the U.S. Capitol Building – the group stormed the Capitol in a failed attempt to stop Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.

Niranjali Amerasinghe, Executive Director of ActionAid USA, said:

“The insurrection we witnessed at the Capitol is the product of years of hateful, extremist rhetoric and continual falsehoods coming from the President and his enablers. We support calls for Donald Trump to be immediately impeached and removed from office. He has always been a threat to our democracy and to basic human dignity for many of our most vulnerable neighbors, but this became even more obvious with yesterday’s events.

“At the same time, we know that white supremacist terror won’t simply end with the current administration. Our country has a long and ignoble history of political violence against Indigenous, Black and Brown people, and of impunity for the perpetrators of that violence. If we are to turn the page towards a more just society, those who are responsible for yesterday’s siege of the Capitol must be held accountable.

“We also support the demand for accountability from the U.S. Capitol Police, Metropolitan Police Department, and other state security forces who utterly failed in their core mission yesterday. Over the summer we saw an overwhelming, violent show of force against Black and Brown people protesting to protect their communities and their lives. The contrast between those tactics (and similar ones used against Indigenous Peoples protecting their lands) and the extraordinary restraint shown toward violent white extremists threatening our democracy is deeply revealing.”

At ActionAid USA, we know lasting change is only going to come when communities, especially those most marginalized, are empowered to exercise their rights. We remain committed to partnering with communities, family farmers, workers, refugees, and women leaders on the frontlines of poverty and injustice to build towards a just, equitable, and sustainable future. 

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