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Saunders: Jan. 6 anniversary a reminder that democracy must be safeguarded

A worker sweeps up the dust and debris that was left behind by a pro-Trump mob in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol building on January 7, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
By AFSCME Staff ·

To mark the one-year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, AFSCME President Lee Saunders released the following statement today:

“On January 6, 2021, when a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol because they didn’t like the outcome of a free and fair election, democracy itself came under attack.

“This attempt to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power was not an isolated incident. It was part of a larger movement to undermine our governing institutions, to spread dangerous misinformation, to restrict access to the ballot box and disenfranchise millions of Americans.

“One year later, we must remain vigilant about defending the pillars of our system. And that means giving more citizens a voice in the political process, so that the government reflects the truest, fullest will of the people. That’s why AFSCME is fighting for swift passage of both the Freedom to Vote Act and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Arcane U.S. Senate rules should not prevent a majority of senators from protecting and enhancing our most precious rights as Americans.

“These issues matter to AFSCME members, who have historically sustained our democratic infrastructure as champions for voting rights, civil rights and workers’ rights. And last January 6, AFSCME Council 20 members who work at the Capitol were put in harm’s way but continued to serve with pride even as their lives were threatened.

“The insurrection that took place a year ago today was a reminder that survival of American democracy can never be assumed; it must always be safeguarded and strengthened, no matter how difficult the struggle.”

Additionally, Sen. Sherrod Brown has introduced a resolution that, among other things, honors members of AFSCME District Council 20 who work at the Capitol and helped clean it up after the attack. The resolution is expected to pass next week.

Watch a portion of Brown’s remarks on the Senate floor here. Read the resolution’s text here.

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