Statements from International Unions on January 6th Assault on American Democracy
The labor movement is speaking out against the violence perpetuated by Donald Trump supporters at the US Capitol on January 6th. This list will be updated regularly with new statements. (Last Updated January 8th at 8:43pm)
AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka:
We are witnessing one of the greatest assaults on our democracy since the Civil War. Today’s attempted coup has been years in the making as Donald Trump consistently spews venom, conspiracies, hate and lies to his supporters. They are carrying out his wishes, and far too many Republican lawmakers have enabled and even encouraged this violent threat to our republic. Emboldened by an Electoral College system that creates an avenue for insurrection instead of simply certifying the candidate with the most votes, this is an effort to violate the constitutional rights of every law-abiding American and the labor movement will not stand for it. Not today. Not ever.
American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) President Lee Saunders:
Yesterday was one of the darkest days in American history. What we saw at the U.S. Capitol was insurrection, sedition and terror enabled by the president of the United States. The 1.4 million members of AFSCME, who dedicate their lives to strengthening their communities instead of trying to tear violently at the national fabric, roundly condemn these acts of vandalism against our democracy.
In the end, our institutions were resilient, with Congress finishing its business at hand last night. In 13 days, at that same U.S. Capitol, we will celebrate democracy with the swearing-in of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who will do everything in their power to restore dignity to the presidency and to unify the nation.
On January 6th and 7th, members of Congress carried out their Constitutional responsibility and certified the state-by-state election results of the 2020 presidential election. The path has now been cleared for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to be inaugurated on January 20, 2021.
Congress completed its duty despite the seditious and violent assaults on the U.S. Capitol, which sought to stop the certification, disenfranchise tens of millions of voters and overturn the results of the election.
American Postal Workers Union (APWU) President Mark Dimondstein:
The APWU joins the entire labor movement and all fair-minded people across the political spectrum in unequivocally condemning the Trump inspired violent attempted coup to stop Congress from validating the vote of the people. This siege was the result of the ‘big lie’ that the election was stolen. The President and those in Congress who have fomented this big lie and pressed these efforts to overthrow the results of this election are driving the country toward authoritarian rule and fascism. They are not fit to hold public office, must be held accountable and should immediately resign or be removed.
As workers, we know that none of the rights we enjoy have been simply handed to us. They have been won through generations of struggle. As imperfect and incomplete as our democracy may be, our challenge today is to reject these assaults on our rights and re-commit ourselves to the struggle to advance democracy and win social and economic justice for all.
The APWU welcomes the new administration and their pro-postal, pro-union commitments. The APWU also welcomes the two newly elected Senators from GA who prevailed in the GA January 5th “special election” and the improved opportunities for moving pro-worker, pro-postal legislation through the new Congress.
International President John Costa, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU):
Today is a dark and devastating day in our country’s history. What was supposed to be a routine procedure to follow the Constitution and certify the democratically decided election turned into a violent siege on the U.S. Capitol and the foundations of our democracy. While our Nation was founded on freedom of speech and the right to have a voice, this was not an exercise of those rights. We condemn the actions of those turning to violence and mob rule. We will not stand for this unprecedented and heinous assault on our democratic principles.
President Everett Kelley, American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE):
Today, in a shocking scene watched by Americans across the nation, the president of the United States encouraged a mob of anti-democracy protestors to breach the security perimeter of the U.S. Capitol, forcing a lockdown, and endangering the safety of members of Congress, workers at the Capitol, innocent civilians who live nearby, and the law enforcement officials charged with keeping the peace. It is nothing short of a desperate attempt to use violence to cling onto power after a clear defeat at the ballot box. These rioters must comply with the wishes of law enforcement and leave the area immediately. But no matter what happens today, the people have spoken. Joe Biden will be our next president and Kamala Harris our next vice president. We will not surrender our democracy.
American Federation of Musicians:
The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada condemns in the strongest terms the mob assault upon the U.S. Capitol Building, which was an attempt to subjugate our democracy and the peaceful and constitutional transfer of power after a lawful presidential election. The attack resulted in desecration, injury, bloodshed, and death in a place that is a symbol of hope and unity. For the sake of our democracy, we urge the immediate end to the incitement of politically motivated violence and we pray for the restoration of order. We implore members of Congress and all other elected officials to speak out against violence in all forms. We ask that all involved in this unconscionable attack be held accountable. We thank law enforcement for keeping our elected officials and their staff safe. We urge everyone, everywhere, to stand together for democracy and the rule of law and against political violence.
President Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers (AFT):
Today, Donald Trump made clear why he shouldn’t be president. He enabled terrorists who stormed the U.S. Capitol and threatened the lives of duly elected officials while the world watched in horror. This reprehensible failure of the executive to protect the legislative branch is unconscionable, and for the safety of this country, Trump cannot leave office soon enough. Today was not a protest, it was an insurrection; President Trump, his accomplices and allies are guilty of incitement and must be held accountable. That starts with Trump’s immediate removal from office. But American democracy is stronger than Donald Trump. In the throes of a deadly pandemic, a crushing recession, a long-overdue reckoning with racial injustice and an ongoing climate crisis, a record number of Americans cast their vote in last year’s presidential election for decency, competence and progress — for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Today, despite partisan and petulant attempts to undo the will of those voters, democracy prevailed. We will teach our children about this moment for centuries to come and will work to restore future generations’ faith in the fidelity of our peaceful transfer of power. Our country continues to face massive challenges, as evidenced by the violent display in Washington today. As we struggle to contain COVID-19, get families back to work and get students safely back to school, let us remember that Trump and many of his right-wing allies continue to focus on obstructing the very function of our government. When we need healing, they promote violence. When we need peace, they sow chaos. They politicize and misrepresent the truth to undermine the free, fair and functional society we aspire to live in, and in doing so, they undermine the very people government is meant to serve. Today was a tragic reminder of just how dangerous an unchecked despot and his followers truly can be. In this election, our democracy was tested by a grown man’s inability to lose, which threatened to jeopardize the great American experiment. A stronger leader would have used this moment as an opportunity to resurrect the tatters of his presidency, restore order and condemn violence. Trump has failed, but thankfully our system remains intact. Let us now begin to rebuild our more perfect union, built on the voices of the many.
President Sara Nelson, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:
Air travel is safe because everyone follows a strict set of rules, based on the spirit that ‘we’re all in this together.’ The mob mentality behavior that took place on several flights to the D.C. area yesterday was unacceptable and threatened the safety and security of every single person onboard. It will not happen again. There’s a reason that there are strict penalties and fines for failing to comply with crewmember instructions. Enforcement keeps everyone safe. Our first priority in aviation safety and security is to keep any problems on the ground. Some of the people who traveled in our planes yesterday participated in the insurrection at the Capitol today. Their violent and seditious actions at the Capitol today create further concern about their departure from the D.C. area. Acts against our democracy, our government, and the freedom we claim as Americans must disqualify these individuals from the freedom of flight. We in aviation have a serious role to play in national security. Airlines, in coordination with TSA, DHS, FAA, DOT and law enforcement must take all steps to ensure the safety and security of passengers and crew by keeping all problems on the ground.
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB):
As the United States reels from the insurrection events that took place at the U.S. Capitol Building and grounds in an attempt to undermine America’s sacred democracy, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers does not in any way condone or endorse those activities or the people who committed the horrendous acts of trespassing, vandalism, violence, bloodshed and overall assault on democracy.
The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers condemns in the strongest possible terms those acts of desecration and violence and the individuals and groups who committed them.
Further, the Boilermakers union calls for an immediate end to any attempts to motivate violence or otherwise disrupt the peaceful constitutional transfer of power, and calls upon Boilermaker members, the union’s partners, and all local, state, and national elected officials to work cooperatively to restore order for the sake of democracy in America.
To that end, the Boilermakers union is joining with the North America’s Building Trades Union in their announcement this morning offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a person or persons responsible for the murder of United States Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick.
Finally, regarding an image captured of a person who was wearing a jacket bearing the Boilermaker insignia and who appears to have been tampering with the tires of a vehicle during Wednesday’s events: The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers does not condone this person’s behavior and will not tolerate acts of criminality. The union will work diligently to identify this person and bring him to the authorities for justice to be served.
The International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers President Tim Driscoll:
Yesterday, we witnessed an outrageous effort to eradicate the most fundamental tenet of our country’s representative democracy that Government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. That consent is determined through elections where citizens across our country exercise their voice in determining their representatives. The citizens of our country exercised their most essential right in November of 2020 and collectively and decisively determined that Joe Biden would be the 46th President of our nation.
The assault on the US Capitol by rioters yesterday was an effort to extinguish the will of the voters of this country by undermining the lawful election process that has governed our country for more than two hundred years. Those rioters deserve to be and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, but it would be shameful if that prosecution did not also extend to those most responsible for inciting these rioters through false and baseless claims.
President Trump has surrendered whatever legitimacy he may have claimed to lead our nation and BAC joins the calls for his resignation and/or removal from office. However, those elected officials and enablers of the President that joined in disseminating conspiratorial falsehoods and challenging the certification of the Electoral College results have also forfeited their right to participate in the governing of our nation, and should resign and face prosecution where possible.
The ultimate failure of these efforts to invalidate the 2020 election and subvert the US Constitution should not be presumed. We must remain vigilant against those that would seek to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power that our democracy demands.
President Elise Bryant, Coalition of Labor Union Women:
Today, when armed protesters, bent on violence, came to the Capitol where were the troops? What happened to the tear gas and the rubber bullets? The attempted coup, inflamed by a loser, soon to be ex-president, is the America that Donald Trump hopes will keep him in office. Well, he’s wrong and so are his co-conspirators! America’s might is not in her weapons, but in the hearts of her people who know right from wrong. A crime has been committed and those who engaged or enabled it shall be investigated, charged, and will pay for their crimes. We, the people, have spoken — it’s time for a new president and today’s lawlessness is proof positive it is time for a change!
President Chris Shelton, Communications Workers of America (CWA):
Yesterday, the world watched as armed insurrectionists, with the encouragement of the president of the United States, launched an attack on the Capitol in an attempt to undermine our democracy and prevent Congress from certifying the results of the presidential election. Two images from their failed attempt to violently invalidate the votes of millions of Americans make their motives absolutely clear: the sight of the confederate flag being paraded through the halls of the Senate and a message scrawled on a door, “Murder the media.” White supremacy is a poison that has been with us since the beginning of our country, and the confederate flag is its symbol, meant to subjugate and terrorize Black, brown, Asian and Pacific Islander and Indigenous people. That was the goal of this mob and the president who asked them to assemble on his behalf. Freedom of the press is the first target of fascists everywhere, as they seek to silence opposition and suppress any information that contradicts the alternate reality that their narcissistic leader creates to support his racist fantasy world. This freedom is enshrined in our Constitution because a healthy democracy is not possible without a free press. There is no doubt that each day that Donald Trump continues to hold the powers of the presidency presents a grave threat to the safety of millions of American and to the stability of our country. He organized an insurrection while ignoring a pandemic. Legislators and members of the Cabinet have taken an oath to defend our Constitution and they must act to remove him from office immediately before he does greater harm to our country and democracy. But we must not fool ourselves. The end of Trump’s presidency does not mean an end to white supremacy in our government. After forcing Congress to flee and vandalizing the Capitol for hours, the insurrectionists were free to walk out the door and head home. After they returned to the Capitol, half of the Republican members of the House of Representatives, who are guilty of aiding and abetting this insurrection, voted to overturn the will of the American people. Far too many politicians enabled Donald Trump to build and sustain power. Corporate CEOs and board members, driven only by the size of their fortunes, continue to extract wealth from our labor and cynically exploit racism for their own gain. Along with the free press, free, democratic labor unions like ours are targets of fascists who fear the power of workers united in common cause. We must remain committed to the fight to strengthen our democracy and resist white supremacy and fascism. We must continue the process we began last spring to deepen our efforts to dismantle racism, including racism within our union. Together we will build power for all working people.
Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) President Jennifer Dorning:
Yesterday is going to be remembered as one of the darkest days in recent American history. The outgoing President’s divisive language and continued attempts to undermine the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election resulted in an attempted coup.
Throughout the Capitol, professionals ranging from congressional staffers to engineers in the office of the Architect of the Capitol work to keep our government running. While news professionals covering Congress roam the halls and chamber galleries to provide critical information to the American public. The Trump supporters’ storming of the Capitol threatened these professionals’ lives, along with many others.
DPE condemns the acts of yesterday. Violence and hate have no place in our democracy.
International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF):
The attack on the United States Capitol yesterday by a mob brought to a frenzy by the demagoguery and irresponsible actions of the sitting president of the United States was an attack on the institutional foundations of our nation.
The right to free speech and assembly is a fundamental right in a nation built on law and order, however an angry mob determined to stop the process of a free and fair election should be called out for what it is — insurrection.
There is no place for seditious actions such as those we witnessed yesterday.
The illegal frenzy cost some of our fellow Americans their lives. Those who
participated must answer to the laws of our nation for the lives their actions took and the damage they caused to our democracy.
Economic Policy Institute:
Yesterday, at the incitement of President Trump, a large crowd of mostly white domestic terrorists attempted to overtake the U.S. Capitol in a violent coup attempt — while threatening the safety of members of Congress, Hill staff, cafeteria workers, maintenance workers, janitors, and other working people who show up to work every day to make our legislative branch function.
This is a terrifying, but not surprising, way to end President Trump’s term, which has been bolstered by white supremacists who have sought to overturn the election results based on a massive misinformation campaign. Trump should be removed from office for his seditious actions, either by invoking the 25th amendment or through impeachment.
Law enforcement officers who failed to protect the American people yesterday should also be held accountable. Police were seen taking selfies with protestors and letting them through a barricaded area. The majority of the terrorists who breached the U.S. Capitol were allowed to return home without consequence, despite their violent acts. This is in stark contrast to the actions taken by law enforcement officers this summer, who used tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful Black Lives Matters protestors — who were fighting against systematic racism.
“We need to stand up to racism,” said EPI President Thea Lee. “We urge President-elect Biden and the next Congress to prioritize racial equity as they develop a policy platform to help working people recover from the economic and public health aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The next Senate should pass D.C. statehood, which will give Washington, D.C., residents the power to call in the National Guard and not have to rely on the president for their safety. The residents of D.C. deserve to be protected with the full power and respect of a state government and the right to elect leaders to advocate for them in Congress.
International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE):
When Pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the United States Capitol building in Washington D.C. today, we watched one of the most egregious assaults on our Democracy in American History. This is unacceptable in America, and we can never allow it to happen again.
Make no mistake, the people who incited this radical terrorist attack, including those within our own government, are culpable in their propagation of criminal acts and must be held accountable.
And lest we forget the politicians who, by malice or ignorance, enabled this behavior by acting as Donald Trump’s personal lapdogs over the last four years. To those who stood back and stood by while propagandists attempted to poison our republic: Your remarkable and embarrassing display of spinelessness will not be forgotten. But right now it is of the utmost possible urgency to do the right thing and ensure a peaceful transition of power in this unprecedented moment.
The American people deserve better because they voted for it. Real American leadership will be restored when Joe Biden is inaugurated January 20th. The will of the people is sacred, and no transgressor will deny it.
International President Lonnie R. Stephenson, Electrical Workers (IBEW):
Today’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by violent extremists represents a direct assault on our democratic system. Blame for this horrific event lies directly on the shoulders of President Trump and his enablers in Congress, who have deliberately spread disinformation about the validity of the 2020 election, threatened our constitutional system by disregarding the will of America’s voters and promoted an atmosphere of violence that led to what happened today. For too long, Trump’s extremist rhetoric, venomous attacks and deranged conspiracy theories have undermined America’s faith in democracy, divided Americans against each other and poisoned political debate in this nation. It’s clear that one more day of Trump in office represents a direct threat to the health of our republic and we demand his immediate resignation. If Trump does not resign, we call on Vice President Mike Pence and members of the cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him. We also condemn the efforts of some Republican lawmakers to overturn the will of the American people by refusing to certify the results of the Electoral College. This represents an unprecedented effort to invalidate a democratic election. Any member of Congress who attempts to thwart the will of the American people as expressed in a democratically held presidential election has no place in the people’s house.
General President Terry O’Sullivan, Laborers (LIUNA)
The disgusting violence during the Congressional Electoral College vote debate today, marks a repulsive moment in the history of the United States of America. Our country is better than this. What happened today is a direct result of the irresponsible and reprehensible lies and misinformation fomented by President Trump and his allies. After losing roughly 60 legal challenges, including in the Supreme Court, the continued deceit spread by him and his enablers is deplorable and un-American. Their attempts to undermine a fair and legal election are tantamount to treason. He and his lackeys have attacked our democracy, inciting violence and insurrection. LIUNA also condemns the Republican Members of Congress who have refused to certify the legitimate electoral college results. With their actions, they have declared themselves enemies of our great Republic and democracy. LIUNA will never forget who they are. I am convinced more than ever that in spite of the division, strife, and the violence which we saw today, our nation, our democracy, and our institutions will never be broken and will continue on as long as we stand together and work together. We must come together and move past this terrible and tragic moment. We as a country are bigger and better than our disagreements. There are many more individuals of courage and sense than the cowards who attacked us today. The American people and the strong, proud and united brothers and sisters of LIUNA understand the meaning of dedication, commitment and solidarity. Let us recommit ourselves to working together for the common good, a stronger democracy and the economic well-being of the working-class of this country.
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA):
LCLAA vehemently condemns the acts of violence and insurrection that took place in our nation’s capital on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. This seditious and lamentable event, was led by extremist and racist groups in an attempt to change the results of the presidential election. What is worse, this assault on our democracy was encouraged by the very person who is supposed to guarantee American safety; President Trump.
Since taking office in 2017, Trump has done nothing but divide our country, by planting hatred and bigotry. For far too long Trump has fed lies and misinformation to his supporters, through incendiary messages that undermined our nation’s democracy, the will of the people, and therefore resulted in these unacceptable acts of domestic terrorism.
Yesterday we witnessed Trump applaud this despicable attempted coup, yet a few months ago, he condemned scores of Americans who took to the streets in defense of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery’s life, to name just three of the countless lives that have been lost due to the escalation in racial injustice.
LCLAA stands with a growing number of legislators who believe that the president’s removal from office is warranted. The most immediate way of doing so would be by invoking the 25 Amendment. This would require Vice President Pence, along with a majority of the Cabinet to declare the President “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” in a written declaration. Additionally we demand that all elected officials who have enabled the president’s detrimental actions be held accountable. LCLAA will remain committed to peacefully mobilizing and elevating the voices of workers who have spoken through the power of their vote and therefore protecting the democratic values that characterize our nation.
“We are witnessing a blatant attempt against the voice of the people, against voters and the constitution and democratic processes and values, and it is shameful to see that it is our nation’s president, the one who is encouraging this illegal insurrection,” said Yanira Merino, LCLAA National President. “It is our responsibility to ensure that our elected officials respect the will of the people, and LCLAA is committed to continue mobilizing and peacefully elevating our voices of working families and in defense of our democracy.”
“We cannot sit and silently contemplate our rights being ripped away from us, and our voices being silenced. LCLAA joins those who are demanding immediate action be taken in order to hold those responsible for yesterday’s seditious acts, fully accountable, said Jose Vargas, LCLAA Executive Director. Yesterday’s violent mob, largely remained unmolested by police authorities, a stark contrast to what we have seen happen to protestors of color, who for over a year have peacefully taken to the streets their demand for equal rights, and have been met with tear gas, rubber bullets and swinging batons. We need congress to act now in order to eradicate the hatred, divisions and mayhem that this president has instituted as part of his policy agenda. Our nation’s future depends on us acting today.
International President Robert Martinez Jr., International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM&AW):
Violence is never the answer. The rioters in Washington, DC will not stop our sacred traditions of democracy and the peaceful transfer of power. The Machinists Union and the labor movement will not stand for it.
International of Association of Heat and Frost Insultators and Allied Workers President Gregory T. Revard:
The events that transpired yesterday in our nation’s capital are reprehensible, but also criminal. The use of violence and attempts to halt our democratic process and the peaceful transition of power that has successfully occurred for more than 200 years is a direct result of the actions and directives of President Trump and his various supporters in Congress.
Under no circumstance is violence ever the answer. The destruction that happened at the U.S. Capitol is deplorable and nothing short of a domestic terrorist act. Above all else, lives were lost yesterday, which is the greatest tragedy.
There were actually two attacks that took place yesterday. One was the siege of the Capitol Building conducted by extremist Trump supporters. The second was the attack waged by certain elected members of Congress who questioned our democracy and attempted to quash the vote to certify the Electoral College results, based on nothing more than falsehoods and baseless conspiracy theories.
As a veteran who proudly served in the United States Navy, the ideals of our nation and democracy is what I fought to protect.
With a new administration taking over the leadership of our country in a few days, the hope that better days are ahead under more qualified leaders can be the only bright spot in what appears to be some of the darkest days in our nation’s history.
United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts:
The violence that swept up Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. yesterday was sickening to all true Americans. There is nothing wrong with peaceful protest. Every American has the right to protest and to make our voice heard. I and millions of others who served in our nation’s armed forces fought our country’s wars to secure that right.
“But no one, no matter how high their office, has the right to incite violence. No one, no matter how deep their grievance, has the right to destroy property. No one, no matter what their political views, has the right to threaten members of Congress and their staffs who are performing their constitutional duty on behalf of all of us.
“We saw all of that yesterday, and worse. People are dead. Police officers are injured. And for what? Nothing was changed. Congress discharged its duty and America’s democratic principles prevailed.
“All we are left with are the images of a violent mob attacking the very foundation of our Republic. Once they did that, they stopped being protesters and became criminals. America is better than that.
Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, National Nurses United (NNU):
Nurses agree with the statement by President-elect Biden that “our democracy is under unprecedented assault, unlike anything we have seen in modern times’ and his labelling of the violent assault on the Capitol today as insurrection.” As nurses, we are deeply disturbed by the scenes of violence and threats to our elected leaders, the dedicated people who work in the Capitol, and anyone else subjected to this unconscionable attack on our most fundamental symbols of democracy. This was a violent attempt to stop Congress from confirming the people’s choice for president and vice president. As such, it’s an attack on democracy itself, instigated by the president of the United States. The actions we have seen unfold today are the inevitable result of what President Trump has inspired and incited for years, from encouraging attacks on protesters at his rallies and on officials ordering safety measures in response to the pandemic, to embracing armed white supremacists, to the constant demonization, in the starkest of terms, of his political opponents. All of that has escalated in the weeks leading to the election, and especially after the November vote when the president has denounced the legitimacy of a democratic election, promoted outlandish conspiracy theories, and urged his armed supporters to act to “save this country.” The president has been encouraging sedition. No one is above the law. He is responsible for the scenes we have seen today at the Capitol and he should be held accountable. We, as a nation, must come together to begin to heal, to refocus first and foremost on containing this terrible pandemic, and on being able to respect political differences and rebuild a democracy that has been so endangered.
President Sean McGarvey, North America’s Building Trades Unions’ (NABTU):
Today’s despicable events are unprecedented, and, as we have all seen, are extremely dangerous. North America’s Building Trades Unions call on President Trump to immediately step down and transfer power per the Constitution and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947. If he refuses, the Cabinet must immediately invoke the 25th amendment to remove the president. Any less action by the Cabinet, and America should consider them all co-conspirators. We also call on Senators Cruz and Hawley to immediately resign along with the twelve other U.S. Senators and the 140 House members objecting to the Electoral College certification. They all must step down immediately. We call on a bipartisan commission to investigate and identify all planners, funders, and coordinators of this attempted coup and refer them to prosecution by the U.S. Justice Department, and further for them to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If these actions are not taken immediately, in anticipation of what is already one of the worst domestic episodes in our country’s history, things could get much worse over the next 14 days very quickly. Thus, we urge all law-abiding Americans to stand up and demand the same to protect our precious democracy from tyrants and thugs.
International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT):
We are saddened by today’s flagrant attack on our democracy. The attempted coup has been instigated by too many Republican politicians, namely Donald Trump. Any politician who incited or promoted what happened today is no friend of workers. We stand with our sisters and brothers in the labor movement ready to defend our democratic institutions.
Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE):
IFPTE categorically condemns the violent act of insurrection by President Trump and thousands of his supporters. The blame falls clearly with President Trump himself, and his enablers in Congress, who have instigated and encouraged today’s seditious actions. The people who stormed and took control of our historic Capitol destroyed property, took over offices, and took over chambers of Congress itself, while staff and members were escorted to secure areas to protect their lives. IFPTE further understands that one person was shot and has tragically succumbed to her injuries. Make no mistake about it, this is a transparent effort to overturn a presidential election. It is a culmination of many attempts to undermine our Democracy and prevent our Democratically elected President-Elect from assuming office on January 20th. These people are not “protestors,” they are domestic terrorists and should be treated as such in the eyes of the law. The United States does not bow to domestic terrorism. IFPTE calls on Vice President Pence to exercise the 25th Amendment and move to immediately have President Trump removed from office.
Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU):
Yesterday was one of the darkest, most shameful days in our nation’s history. Incited by the rhetoric of Donald Trump, domestic terrorists stormed the U.S. Capitol and threatened the lives of our nation’s lawmakers, their staffs and the men and women who serve what President-Elect Joe Biden called “the citadel of liberty.” This insurrection was directly incited by President Trump and his allies and they must be held accountable. This president has violated his oath to the nation to defend and protect our constitution. He must immediately be removed from office. Despite his reckless and dangerous actions, our democracy — though tested and strained — has held. Last night, lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill and certified the presidential electoral vote for Joe Biden and Vice President Elect Kamala Harris. It’s now time to move forward to this new administration and begin the difficult work of rebuilding our democracy, leading us safely through the COVID-19 crisis and rebuilding our economy for all working families by putting Americans back to work.
Executive Director Jerame Davis, Pride at Work:
What we’re witnessing at the Capitol today is nothing less than an attack on our country and on our people brought to life by a president who refuses to accept that millions turned out to elect Joe Biden by overwhelming margins. Let there be no doubt, this is what terrorism looks like: an angry mob violently invading our Capitol and threatening our elected leaders, even the very Republican leaders — who egged them on. We are here today due to the cheering of some Republicans and the silence of others. This president and his Republican allies fed lie after lie to their supporters about this election in order to undermine the will of the people and desperately attempt to hold onto power they clearly do not deserve. They will not prevail.
Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU):
The events that occurred in our nation’s capital yesterday should have horrified all people living in our country. The very act of storming the U.S. Capitol in the name of overturning this election directly undermines our democracy. At the same time, we are dismayed by the wholly inadequate response from law enforcement officials.
Throughout the pandemic, we have seen a historic movement for racial justice grow in this country. Unfortunately, the response from the President, law enforcement, and the national guard at many Black Lives Matter rallies throughout our cities could not have been more different. It pains us to watch the security at the Capitol put up little to no resistance as they both let in and escorted out the people attempting this coup against our nation. We have to be clear — the probable reason that this coup attempt was not dealt with in the same way as the Black Lives Matter rallies was because the people attempting it were white and not seen as threatening. We must call this out and take a stand against the deep racism that allows a situation like this to take place.
It cannot be lost on us that Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to “take action” and “stand by” for January 6th as he continues to spread conspiracies and lies about the results of this election. In the labor movement, we’re used to employers using these same kinds of tactics to undermine workers’ rights and keep working people disempowered. As a union, we know how to overcome division and bring people from many different backgrounds together with a common goal for justice. Although Trump lost this election, we can’t expect this way of thinking to disappear once he is removed from office. We need to join together across race, gender, and class lines to push back against Trumpian logic and this rise of the far right. Our democracy depends on it.
International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART):
We have just witnessed a sad day in American history. Leave no doubt, these violent, anti-democratic actions were incited by the current president and his cohorts — both elected and unelected — who have misled their supporters for far too long. SMART, along with our sisters and brothers across the labor movement, rejects all threats to a peaceful transition of power and stands ready to defend our nation’s democratic institutions.
Screen Actors Guild — American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA):
SAG-AFTRA condemns in the strongest terms yesterday’s attack on America’s foundational principles. Rioters, emboldened and encouraged by a sitting president and his enablers who have peddled baseless conspiracy theories, stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to subvert democracy.
As a union and a democratic organization, we are appalled by this attack on the values we hold most sacred. The disgraceful scenes coming out of the nation’s capital have undermined America’s institutions and its standing in the world. Displays of the Confederate flag and other symbols of white supremacy and hate were meant to subjugate and terrorize people of color and those of certain faiths. This poison attacks the diverse membership of our union and the labor movement.
Yesterday’s attack was an inevitable result of sustained misinformation campaigns that attempt to discredit journalists while weaving a counter-narrative based on falsehoods. Our members include broadcast journalists, who have been increasingly targeted by extremists who feel threatened by the facts. The number of attacks on journalists has spiked in the last year, and members of yesterday’s mob attacked broadcast journalists and destroyed cameras and other equipment, and left graffiti on a Capitol door reading “Murder the Media,” leaving no question where they stand.
The reckless rhetoric by some leaders — including many members of Congress who continued to perpetuate lies even after the attack — is damaging the fabric of our nation and costing lives.
SAG-AFTRA is nonpartisan, representing members of all political views, but we cannot be silent as an angry, violent group attempts to rob the American people of their right to self-governance. We denounce this attempted insurrection and all who support it.
Secretary-Treasurer Greg Regan, Transportation Trades Department:
It is the tragic, but natural conclusion to four years of leadership by a president who put his own financial, legal, and personal wellbeing squarely before the needs of the nation at every turn. A president who peddled in conspiracy theories and lies, rather than a respect for the power of his office and the citizens it serves.
Union Veterans Council:
The Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO denounces today’s attempted coup in Washington D.C and at the U.S. Capitol building. This assault on our democracy and on the safety of U.S. citizens was fueled by the venomous rhetoric of President Donald Trump and his continued refusal to acknowledge his loss in November’s election, and enabled by many Republican lawmakers who have followed the president’s every whim. As service members, we fought for the safety of our democracy and the sanctity of our constitution, and we will not stand to see violent extremists and political enablers attack both. The Union Veterans Council calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice under the full force of U.S. law.
Transportation Workers Union:
The TWU strongly condemns the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol yesterday. Working people in the Capitol were put senselessly at risk, for doing the essential work of our democracy. We stand with trade union movement in the fight for a stronger, more peaceful democracy.
General President Mark McManus, United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters:
Today’s vote to certify the Electoral College results is one of many steps in the sacred and peaceful transition of power in this country. The right to peacefully protest is enshrined in the Constitution, but today’s display of lawlessness and violence is dangerous and a threat to our democracy. Make no mistake about it: the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol today have no interest in the rule of law. We are grateful to law enforcement and the first responders who have worked tirelessly, and continue to do so, to protect Members of Congress, their staffs, and our fellow American citizens. In any election, the very heart of our democracy is at stake — regardless of your political affiliation or preference. Loyal opposition and advocating for your beliefs, peacefully and within the law, should and must be the norm. For over 131 years, the United Association has followed this norm even as we have disagreed with a wide range of politicians, and we will continue to do so. Quite frankly, we are better than this as a country and as a society at large. Every UA member can do his or her part to respect all opinions, look out for our collective families, and try to be a positive force in this country we all love.
President Rory L. Gamble, United Auto Workers (UAW):
This is a very sad day for our nation and our democracy. This is not how this great nation, nor responsible citizens handle elections or our differences. We are a better people than this storming mob and I am optimistic that despite today’s events, we will regain our footing and we will move forward for the greater good of all of us. As a nation, we are learning in a profound way that we all have a personal responsibility to safeguard this democracy. We cannot take our system of government for granted and we must be vigilant to ensure that our democracy maintains its historical position as the gold standard for freedom and liberty. Today’s actions must not be allowed to alter that. This is truly a singular point in our history. The violence at the Capitol today is a deliberate and despicable attempt by extremists to disrupt our great republic. It will not succeed. We, as a nation, are stronger than this one shameful incident. There is room in this great democracy, as in our own union, for disagreement. It is one of the great strengths of our democratic system. We are better than that and today above all, we must remember that there is more that unites us than divides us. There is absolutely no room for this type of mob rule in a functioning democratic system. This is a day none of us should or will ever forget. But please let us remember that there is much work to be done — and we must take the personal responsibility to do it together. We are the United States and unite we must. I urge us all to work together to move forward and heal our nation.
D. Taylor, President of UNITE HERE and Gwen Mills, Secretary-Treasurer of UNITE HERE:
It’s Joyce. Hannah. Melissa. Ron.
And 1000 other UNITE HERE canvassers and so many more,
who in the face of loss and white nationalist terrorists
Nevertheless … persisted.
Knocking on millions of doors.
Sharing their stories. Of grief. Of survival. Of hope.
Inspiring thousands of people to vote their conscience.
To vote for change.
And in so doing, we are taking back our country.
Building on the work of our allies, we took back the Senate by winning two seats in Georgia in the heart of the South — just as we took back the Presidency through our hard work in Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Florida.
Today, let’s not forget this labor and what we have achieved together to create a more perfect Union.
Today, we celebrate the power of our solidarity and what we have done together to keep the spirit of Democracy alive.