By Ruth Bayang
Northwest Asian Weekly
Newly elected Congressmember Marilyn Strickland called last week’s incident at the U.S. Capitol “domestic terrorism.”
The former mayor of Tacoma told The News Tribune, “Trump and his enablers, who have been sowing seeds of discontent trying to undermine the validity of this election, are responsible for this. So he needs to take responsibility and just tell people to go home.”
The Jan. 6 rampage through the halls of Congress sent lawmakers of both parties and Trump’s own vice president into hiding, as crowds called for Mike Pence’s lynching for his role overseeing the vote count. The scene also undermined the hallmark of the republic—the peaceful transition of power.
At least five people died, including one Capitol Police officer.
Hours after the incident, King County Democrats confirmed the safety of all members of the Washington state Congressional delegation, including their staff.
Shasti Conrad, the first female woman of color to chair the King County Democrats, said, “What happened… was inexcusable and the parties involved need to be brought to justice.”
“Trump’s rhetoric has viciously split apart our nation, but we will find a way to repair past grievances and get this nation back on track. From local to federal governments, this is our time to stand up against an autocratic and fascist regime and lean into a more unified movement.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal said she was one of a dozen representatives in the gallery above the House floor.
“We pulled out gas masks and had to get down on the ground,” she wrote on Twitter. “Capitol police barricaded the doors and had guns drawn. We were eventually told that we had to quickly exit.
I can’t contain my rage at Donald Trump and Republicans who invited, incited, and fueled this terror. Our country and our democracy will have to recover from these deep wounds—and it won’t be easy.”
Rep. Adam Smith also pointed the finger at Trump.
“He has lied repeatedly, as have his enablers in Congress and elsewhere about this election. They do not believe in democracy. They believe in retaining power by any means necessary. All Americans who believe in the rule of law and our Constitution must clearly and unambiguously hold these people accountable for their actions.
Smith added, “Order will be restored. Congress will do its job. This election will be certified, and Joe Biden will, as he was duly elected to do, take office as our next President on January 20th.”
Expecting a long day of debates on Jan. 6, Strickland said the last thing she was expecting was a riot.
“No one in their wildest imagination imagined that we would be here watching this happen in the halls of Congress,” she said.
Ruth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.