AFSCME Council 5 Leadership Rebukes Assault on Democracy

January 7, 2021

AFSCME Council 5 Leadership Rebukes Assault on Democracy 

AFSCME Council 5 Executive Director Julie Bleyhl, President Eric Hesse, Vice President Carmen Brown, Treasurer Jay Anderson and Secretary Destiny Dusosky issued the following statement after recent events at the U.S. Capitol - 

"What happened last night in America must never be repeated. We witnessed a group of domestic terrorists storm the United States Capitol and put the lives of lawmakers, congressional staff, the public, and our very democracy itself at grave risk. They must be held accountable. Their attempt to circumvent the American democratic process failed. And their attempt to overturn the will of the voters failed. AFSCME Council 5 unequivocally rejects these attempts in whole. Despite this attack on our beloved democracy, the House and Senate resumed their constitutional duty to count the Electoral College votes. On January 20, 2021, Joe Biden will become the next President of the United States and Kamala Harris will become our Vice President. This is an undeniable fact and we must come together as Americans. 

"In the years to come, the events of last night will be one of those that people ask “Where were you when…” and we must be willing to stand up and say that we unequivocally and emphatically fought to preserve our democracy, our American way of life, and our duty as citizens to peacefully participate in our democracy. We must be resolute in our condemnation of these violent attacks on American lives and our constitutional system of government. Leaders from around the world often look to America as a beacon of hope and light. Instead, they saw tear gas, gunfire, Capitol Police officers barricading the doors of the House and Senate chambers with cabinets and chairs to protect lawmakers and staff, as well as rioters tearing down the American flag -all while President Donald Trump incited the violence with his rhetoric from the White House and failed to quickly tell his supporters to immediately cease. We are grateful for all of the first responders in Washington D.C. and neighboring communities who ran towards danger to protect the our fellow Americans and our democratic republic.

"We are incredibly divided as a nation, but today is a new day. Let’s rise up to the challenge and reach out to those who are different than ourselves. If we do not, the division, hate, and bigotry many Americans feel and have experienced for too long will continue to permeate our country in such a pervasive, destructive, and painful way.

"As a labor union, we are a safe haven for mutual solidarity, care, and action alongside all of those who experience hate, violence, intolerance and injustice."

AFSCME President Lee Saunders also issued the following statement here.