PHILADELPHIA -- In response to this week’s egregious, violent subversion of democracy -- both in Washington DC and right here in Pennsylvania -- Hannah Laurison, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Stands Up, issued the following statement:
“Make no mistake: both the insurrection yesterday and the Pennsylvania GOP’s refusal to seat a duly elected Senator the day before are attacks on our country, on our people, brought on by a president who refuses to accept that millions of us turned out to stand with and for each other and elect Joe Biden by overwhelming margins.
This is what authoritarianism looks like: a president, dozens of Senators and House Members, and many elected officials at the state level maneuvering to overturn our democracy from within, while encouraging their supporters to launch a desperate, armed insurrection in Congress and state capitols across the country. And right here in Pennsylvania, the PA Senate GOP unconstitutionally refused to seat a duly elected Senator, despite him receiving more votes than his competitor, simply because he is a member of the opposing party. Just like the insurrection by an organized mob on DC, not seating Senator Brewster is an attack on our democracy, and is part of a larger anti-democracy agenda in Harrisburg that includes undermining confidence in our elections, spreading disinformation about voting, enabling judicial gerrymandering, and trying to roll back voting by mail. The GOP’s blatant disregard for one of America’s most precious tenants makes one thing crystal clear: their only concern is staying in power and upholding white supremacy.
This is the culmination of a decades-long political project to reinstate the Jim Crow disenfranchisement of Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color. The willful blind eye law enforcement turned to armed white vigilantes in Washington yesterday, contrasted with their violent attack on people of all races standing up for Black lives in countless cities over the summer, highlights the fact that the Jim Crow system has always worked inside and outside the law, often with the cooperation of law enforcement, to maintain the system of white supremacy.
And yet, throughout our nation's history, people of all races have stood up for freedom, equality and justice -- and time and time again we've won when we stood shoulder to shoulder to fight for racial justice and economic equality. We fought the civil war to abolish the enslavement of Black people. We won the New Deal to protect workers rights. And we marched to end racial segregation and win the Voting Rights Act.
The events of recent days show the stakes for Democrats as they assume control of the federal government. Tuesday's historic wins in Georgia, powered by working class people and led by Black voters, points the way toward a multi-racial democracy where all people are free to live and thrive. Now that the voters have spoken, Democrats must move rapidly to strengthen our democracy by passing automatic voter registration, offering statehood to DC and Puerto Rico, and reforming the federal judiciary. They must also pass the most ambitious and far-reaching legislative agenda since the New Deal, in order to support working people of all races who are struggling in the face of the pandemic and on-going economic crisis.
January 6th should forever be remembered as Treason Day. A day when a sitting president who has done everything in his power to overturn his loss unleashed an angry mob of armed white vigilantes inside of our Capitol, threatening our government, including the very Republican leaders complicit in this attack. Donald Trump is dangerous and must be removed from office today through the 25th amendment or impeachment. Every Republican co-conspirator, from Senators and House Members to state legislators, who fed, fueled and fomented these attacks on our democracy must also be removed or resign. All those who participated in this insurrection, especially those who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, must be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law once Donald Trump is removed.
On January 20, our democracy will prevail. But only thanks to the multi-racial coalition of organizers, activists, and election officials in communities across this country who protected the results. Together, we will move forward and finally make this a country of true liberty and justice for all."