In the run-up to the one-year anniversary of the attempted coup to bring down our democracy, I’ve been avoiding reading the recaps and the rehashes and the remembrances of that day. It’s for the same reason I’ve never watched the footage of the 9-11 attacks: all the horrors of the day come back to me in a rush when I stumble across the images. If that inability to look closely makes me a coward, so be it. But I take comfort that my cowardice in looking is countered by my actions to prevent another insurrection.
This Thursday, you will find me joining what I hope are hundreds of thousands of other like-minded true, patriotic Americans in attending one of the many candlelight vigils scheduled for that day. It isn’t just to note the tragic anniversary. It’s a show of peaceful force to tell Congress and President Joe Biden that we must protect our democracy. We must pass legislation on the federal level to counter the hundreds of bills passed and under consideration in states that seek to quell our freedom to vote freely and without restrictions.
There is little difference between those who actively participated on the ground on Jan. 6, 2021, and those who pass these restrictive voter laws. The insurrectionists wanted to take our votes away after they were cast. The ones passing these laws want to take our votes before they are cast. We didn’t let the former win; we can’t let the latter win either.
Jonah Minkoff-Zern, co-director of Public Citizen’s Democracy is for People campaign and one of the primary organizers of the vigils, told the Washington Post, “The uprising against the U.S. democracy didn’t end on January 6 and has continued in state houses that have passed laws to undermine our freedom to vote.” The We the People: January 6th Day of Remembrance and Action website notes, “This January 6, exactly one year later, Americans across race, place, party, and background are holding candlelight vigils and voter actions to urge Congress and the President to pass federal legislation to protect our right to vote and our democracy. The U.S. Senate and President Biden must do whatever is necessary to pass.”
As of this writing, there are nearly 300 vigils planned across the country, in large cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., and Oakland (where I’ll be), and in smaller towns like White River, Arizona, Medina, Ohio, and Point Reyes Station, California. We will be sharing our sadness and horror at the events of a year ago, and we will be fighting like hell to get the Freedom to Vote Act, the Protecting our Democracy Act, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act passed.
Please, don’t just scroll through the remembrances Thursday. Do something.
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