WASHINGTON – Greenpeace Executive Director Annie Leonard today released the following statement regarding the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol yesterday:
“Donald Trump must be immediately removed from office before he succeeds in violently overthrowing American democracy. Yesterday’s white supremacist, anti-democratic attack on representative government was carefully and intentionally coordinated by Trump and many others on the right wing in order to prevent every vote from being counted. It was a desperate attempt by violent insurrectionists to hold on to power at all costs. Those responsible must be held accountable.
“Americans have a right to peaceful protest. They do not have a right to violently storm the United States Capitol in order to stop the peaceful transfer of power. What we’ve seen in the past is lawmakers use these kinds of violent right wing riots as an excuse to restrict lawful protest, and so we have to make sure that in the days ahead these specific perpetrators and instigators are held accountable without infringing on our constitutionally protected right to protest.
“The discrepancy between how the police treated these violent white supremacists and how they have treated the Black Lives Matter protestors over the past decade shows that law enforcement is complicit in this unrest. This is the moment for law enforcement to take a side, and it must be on the side of the people’s will. The police, the national guard, and the military have a choice to make: will they allow a violent disruption of the democratic process or support the peaceful transition of power?
“Greenpeace demands full accountability for Trump, Republican members of Congress, and law enforcement for this violent failed coup. The House must reconvene and pass Rep. Ilhan Omar’s and Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s pending Articles of Impeachment against Trump, and the Senate must convict and remove him. If Congress fails to act, Mike Pence and Trump’s cabinet must use whatever legal means at their disposal to stop Trump from inflicting more damage. He must be barred from ever holding office again. Further, Congress must censure each member who has fanned the flames of white supremacist violence and has participated in the effort to stop the certification of the electoral college.
“The House must also conduct a full investigation into the events of January 6 and prosecute those who invaded Congress, as well as those in charge of the security approach that allowed it. The Capitol police and wider security apparatus failed to prevent white nationalist insurrectionists from entering the Capitol and terrorizing the people inside, which stands in stark contrast to the brutal treatment of Black Lives Matters protesters earlier this year.
“People have the right to speak truth to power and to protest. They do not have a right to violently storm the United States Capitol. We can’t let this spark an increase of state level anti-protest legislation.
“Finally, Congress must pass the For the People Act (HR1), the John Lewis Voting Rights Act (HR4, and DC Statehood (HR51) which will have the power to put the power of our democracy back into the hands of the people. This is the kind of reform we need to strengthen our path towards a more green, just, and equitable planet. It is only when we can all fairly participate in the democratic process that we will have the kind of future we want and need.”
Greenpeace photos from the Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021 can be found here: https://media.greenpeace.org/shoot/27MDHUM1RYE