UE unequivocally condemns the violent attempts by a group of supporters of President Trump to disrupt the certification of the electoral college results in Washington, DC yesterday. This was an attempt by a small group of extremists to overturn a democratic election in which record numbers of U.S. citizens participated. This assault on democracy also threatened the safety of thousands of public employees who work in the capitol.
The responsibility for these attacks lies squarely with Trump and a shameful number of other Republican politicians who have repeated, for two months now and with no evidence, the “big lie” that the presidential election was stolen. Despite being rebuffed by Republican state officials, Republican-controlled state legislatures, and more than 60 rulings from Republican-dominated courts, Trump has continued — even after yesterday’s violence — to claim that he won the election.
Trump’s ability to persuade so many people to engage in political violence is rooted in the fact that the working class has been repeatedly lied to about the source of our economic problems. Politicians of both parties have claimed that the globalization, corporate downsizing and deindustrialization that have decimated both urban and rural communities is inevitable, or even desirable. With few political leaders or media figures willing to point out the role of corporate capitalism in squeezing the working class, it is hardly surprising that many are receptive to the claims of demagogues like Trump and the white-supremicist militias he promotes, who blame and demonize immigrants, people of color, or union members.
The political climate produced by this type of demagoguery offers unprecedented opportunities for white-supremacist groups, who were active participants in yesterday’s attacks. The growth of far-right and white-supremacist groups is not only a danger to our democracy, and to the lives and safety of people of color, it is also a roadblock to the working-class unity that we need to win economic justice and a decent standard of living.
Trump has demonstrated that he is a danger to all Americans, and willing to incite violence to get his way, even to the extent of jeopardizing the capitol building and the thousands of people who were trapped there on January 6. We join the calls that he resign immediately, and if he refuses to do so, that he be removed from office and not allowed to do any more damage.
Perhaps more importantly, we call on Congress and the new administration to really deliver on the things that all working people need so that all can have a decent standard of living, including protections from the COVID-19 pandemic. With the elections in Georgia giving them control of the Senate, that responsibility is now firmly on the Democrats. Failure to meaningfully raise the standard of living for working people will provide fertile ground for increased division, political chaos, and violence.
Only by focusing on issues that directly impact all working people and their families, and providing real solutions that allow all people to live with dignity, can our nation begin to heal the divisions that have been amplified during the Trump administration, and led to yesterday’s shameful events.
Director of Organization