PHR: Violent Political Insurrectionists Must be Held Accountable

Below is an excerpt from a statement by Donna McKay, PHR's executive director, in response to the insurrection at the United States Capitol on Wednesday, January 6:


We condemn this violent and abhorrent assault on the rule of law. These terrorizing acts incited by President Trump and perpetrated by a mob of insurrectionists are an assault on the right to free and fair elections. They are a brazen, criminal attack on the United States Capitol, the seat of its government, federal personnel, and duly elected officials attempting to exercise the rule of law.


Those who incited or perpetrated this violence, wanton destruction, and intimidation must be held accountable to the full extent of the law. As well, President Trump must be held accountable for his role in stoking and encouraging violence aimed at disrupting an electoral process and for his acts to subvert the peaceful and rightful transfer of power. President Trump’s utter lack of respect for the rule of law and shameless disregard for the safety of civilians cannot be tolerated.


Time and again, law enforcement has used extreme force to suppress overwhelmingly peaceful demonstrators speaking up for racial justice. Yet yesterday, with President Trump’s encouragement, a violent mob was allowed to rampage through the halls of the U.S. Congress. These appalling events expose the systemic racism, injustice, and inequality in the U.S. system of justice and law enforcement. This dichotomy and the inexcusable lack of preparedness for what many anticipated would be a violence-prone riot must be investigated. We must confront and reckon with the United States’ shameful history of racism, and of tolerance for and enabling of white supremacy in the corridors of power and in the public discourse.

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