After the insurrectionists attacked the US Capitol in an attempt to halt our democracy, the government needs to take action to preserve the Constitution. Those who assaulted Capitol police need to be charged. So too those who vandalized the building — and everyone who took it by force (everyone who entered the building after the breach is included in this category). And everyone who whipped up the crowd with lies and incendiary speech to encourage these actions should be charged as well.
Just as importantly as the above, Congress needs to call what happened what it was — an insurrection and an attempted coup. All of those elected officials who participated or encouraged these actions need to be barred from holding elected office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment — specifically Representative Gohmert for his calls for violence and revolution; Senator Hawley, for repeating the lies and giving comfort to the insurrectionists shortly before they breached the building, Senator Cruz for feeding into the lies; and those state legislators who were part of sieging the Capitol. These people should not be allowed to hold office as they clearly do not uphold the Constitution.
And as of this writing, it seems that the Defense Department along with the leadership of Capitol Police were part of allowing the action to happen by refusing the assistance of the National Guard and the FBI. If there were directives to the Defense Department to keep the guard from protecting our democracy those who issued those directives should be charged.
What we have now is the arrest of less than 100 people — while those who were involved and not yet arrested are giving newspaper interviews bragging about their participation. In one article, a man from NE Ohio not only brags about being a part of the actions, but told the newspaper reporter, “Yesterday wasn’t the end. Yesterday was the first battle of the war. I promise you.” Threatening war against the United States is a crime and ought to be punished.
This call for mass arrests is not out of retribution. Nor is it retaliation. It is because if the arrests are not made, these actions will only continue.
The attack on the US Capitol wasn’t the first attack on the government. Many of these same people were involved in attacking state capitol buildings — especially in the summer of 2020 as a response to coronavirus measures. Not nearly enough of those violent protesters were arrested and they were praised by the same people who encouraged the attack on the US Capitol. Indeed, people pointed out that Trump was calling for insurrection back in August when he tweeted that his followers needed to “liberate” Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia.
We all have a right to peaceful protest, to petition our government. I have organized many protests and rallies and am proud of having done so. But what happened at the US Capitol was not a protest, it was an attempt to stop Congress from fulfilling their Constitutional duty. We do not have a right to violently overturn the government. We do not have a right to disenfranchise people because we didn’t like the outcome of an election.