Response to the Attempted Coup

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Yesterday, we were stunned to watch an attempted coup unfold in our nation’s capitol. After years of authoritarian and white supremacist rhetoric from the president and his closest advisors, an armed mob violently entered the Capitol building, bent on overturning the results of the presidential election, and bent on destruction.

We saw those sworn to protect us fail to prevent this attack and even give willing assistance to this mob of mostly white, armed vigilantes. Four died as a result of the attack, and only 15 were arrested before the start of curfew.

This is jarring for us. Our staff, members, and even the elected officials we work with have been present for many protests at which we have been struck by the vehicles of passing civilians or the rubber bullets of law enforcement. Some of us who’ve been arrested while praying or marching saw violent attackers leave the Capitol freely. Today’s footage provides yet another reminder - one that has chilled us to the bone - that protesting safely is not assured to all, that when to escalate and who to humanize are powerful choices, and that an enraging double standard remains firmly in place.

The attackers today brought not only weapons but Confederate flags, giant crosses, and Nazi imagery into the capitol building, symbols that make it clear that they are not aligned with democracy or with our humanity. In a speech to the gathered crowd, Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL) praised Adolf Hitler.

Meanwhile, here in Minnesota, crowds also gathered at the State Capitol and the governor’s residence, where speakers, including several state representatives, shared similar messages about the need to contest the results of the presidential election, coupled with calls for insurrection against the state.

We know that many of you are outraged at the events of the day, and we also know that for many of you, what you witnessed was a stark reminder that many of the antisemitism and white nationalist conspiracy theories underpinning the attack.

As we continue to monitor ongoing activities and opportunities to mobilize our members to protect democracy, we want to welcome you to learn more and to talk more about this together, in community.

We invite you to our Antisemitism/White Nationalism 101 training on January 14th to learn more about how attacks on democracy are fueled anti-Jewish oppression.

We must take bold action to make Minnesota, and America, true democracies, where we show up with and for each other. Where our public servants respect the will and the votes of the people, no matter our race, religion or zip code.

We have a long way to making that a reality. But we will get there, together.

Carin Mrotz

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