The events in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, Jan. 6, continue to reverberate in the halls of government, including in Rhode Island, where some want to expel state representative Justin Price (Republican, Dist. 39) for his involvement in the Jan. 6 protest, and where U.S. Rep. David Cicilline has drafted articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, whose speech before the invasion of the U.S. Capitol building has been called incendiary and seditious.
Not surprisingly, the events are prompting discussions locally as well. Here are some comments pulled from the EG News Facebook page and our website.
In response to an article with comments from members of the EG Town Council, Richard Collette posted this on Facebook:
“Despicable comments. [Trump] never asked anyone to do anything violent. ‘He practically’ is a projection of personal disdain and not a matter of fact. His position has always been to do what is possible up to the last moment. That’s what winners do. They don’t give up. The behavior from the crowd is not surprising because for the past year Democrats have not voiced any objection to the violent and destructive protests that have been going on across the country, save last minute attempts by Nancy. The tone had already been set and with four years of trying to remove a president that was fairly elected starting the day he went into office….”
Alternatively, on that same Facebook post, Meg Carroll wrote, “The difference is sedition.”
In response to an EG News Facebook post seeking comments about the Jan. 6 events in Washington, Zachary Pare wrote “sitting members of Congress” had been attacked by President Trump. Gina O’Toole agreed, writing, “Yesterday, the Executive Branch incited an armed mob to thwart, intimidate, and harm the Legislative Branch. [The] Executive Branch displayed a clear dereliction of sworn duty.”
Frederick Curtis, in the same thread, wrote it was “embarrassing to see the right take a page from the playbook of the Leftist Progressives.”
Rick Tremble wrote, “I’m thinking we are very very very lucky. This was serious and dangerous but if those had been armed, coordinated and well organized fighters instead of what appeared to be the stunt doubles from Duck Dynasty and a shirtless hillbilly viking we could very well be counting bodies of legislators, staffers and police in the dozens. I am not taking anything away from the very real terror many in the Capitol Building must have felt. The perceived threat was terrifying even if carried out by an unorganized mob pumped up on a Trump Rally and plagued by the Dunning-Kruger effect; now we have an opportunity to greatly close the gaps in our Capitol security before a worthy foe comes to call.”
Bruce Roberts called the storming of the Capitol “unequivocally outrageous,” and he blamed the police for “allowing these egregious felons free reign to illegally enter and trash our Capitol and their threatening nature, armed with guns (5) fire bombs (8)….” He added, “All the result of a delusional (the me guy) individual encouraging this fiasco. We are stained throughout the free world as being totally out of control, AGAIN wake up true patriotic Americans and demand culpability at every conceivable level.”
Heather Tibbitts said on Facebook, “It is absolutely right to call fo [Trump’s] removal.”
Former Town Council member Mathias Wilkinson took a different view.
“They have identified some Antifa members. Unfortunately Trump supporters followed. However, the media wants to condemn all Trump supporters. When BLM and Antifa were burning and looting the media insisted that it was but a few and the protesters were mostly peaceful. Also President Trump, in his speech, urged the protesters to march to the capital in a “peaceful protest”. Yes, violence is wrong, but don’t blame this on Trump. Remember the response to the violence, burning and looting–SILENCE from those now calling for impeachment. HYPOCRITES!” [Editor’s note: No members of Antifa have been identified, according to the FBI.]
Jed Fleur and Joe M. both took issue with Wilkinson’s comment.
Fleur: “There is absolutely no evidence that the insurrection at the Capitol was driven by Antifa. Several of the more recognizable protesters have already been identified. One is a long time QAnon fanatic, another a white supremacist, yet another a MAGA champion from TX, and the list goes on and on. In many cases these people are identifying themselves, proud of what they did. This is no mystery, the vast majority of the people there, the force behind this insurrection, were there of their own accord after being urged on by the POTUS and his sycophants. They were attempting to delay or overturn the election results. Antifa would have to know that they’d be identified if they tried to do this under false premises to frame Trump supporters, and that would only damage their cause. Even if not well protected, the Capitol area has cameras everywhere and there were sure to be prosecutions coming out of something like this. If they planned it, they weren’t thinking at all. Is it possible that some small number of Antifa agitators infiltrated? Sure, that’s possible, though none have yet been positively identified. By contrast, dozens of people, identified by themselves or the media as Trump supporters, were there, the force behind that horrible display. I don’t understand why people are having a difficult time accepting this. We know they’re angry, Trump is angry, they said they wanted to do something, Trump told them to come to DC, then he and his people egged them on publicly that morning, and they did it. It really is that simple, and looking for conspiracy theories is a convenient way for people on that side of the fence from having to look in the mirror. I don’t condone anything any “left” groups like Antifa or BLM do when they cross the line from protest to vandalism or violence, and I don’t pretend that it wasn’t people I might somewhat agree with either. People on both sides need to be better at accepting that neither side is all good, the other all bad, and people on both sides are capable of the best, and the worst.”
Joe M: “I’m not sure if we are living in the same world my friend. If you watched the rally beforehand, Trump and crew fired them all up and sent them right on down there. Then if you watched any of the coverage it was pretty clear to myself and the rest of the reasonable people in the world who and why they were there. Just like all the other lies, it’s already been debunked. A female military veteran Trump supporter was shot and killed while climbing through the last barricaded door between the mob and groups of our elected officials scared for their own lives. What was the plan? What’s the end game with all of this? It’s anarchy and we as Americans do not stand for what happened on January 6th. Wake up and have some respect for something. Unreal!”
Reader Pam Testoni wrote, “I am shocked and dismayed at those who have fallen victim to the propaganda regarding Antifa. There has not been one person who identifies with that ideology recognized as having taken part in the violent insurrection we witnessed on Wednesday. Also, no previous actions of any kind, no looting, robbing, burning, or any acts of violence can ever justify or even remotely explain or defend the actions that took place on 1/6. This “what about” mentality does no one any good. The fact is, our great democratic process was compromised. No matter what political stance any of us takes, we must all consider the threat against our way of life seriously and do all that we can to make sure that it never happens again. And, although Trump did say to “march” peacefully just once, he and his family also said… “We will not let this happen. Take back the election. You need to fight to get our country back. We will not let Joe Biden take this election from us.” It went on and on. He and his family incited the crowd. Time will tell how much of this plan Trump knew about beforehand. I hope he did not. I pray our nation can all see our way past this horrific tragedy and put Trump in the past as well.”
Obviously, there are strong opinions out there. Any ideas how opposing sides might move closer in the weeks-months-years ahead? We want [need?!?] to hear them.