Our state legislative session starts on Monday and we have much to accomplish in terms of recovering from a still-raging pandemic and re-building communities toward a more equitable and climate-resilient future. But yesterday, the world watched scenes of deadly violence and chaos play out at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Images of a mob adorned with confederate flags and other symbols of white supremacy storming the capitol were jarring, as was the blatant double standard in police response. Rioters were escorted peacefully after breaking into the Capitol while throughout the country this summer, peaceful protesters in support of Black Lives Matter were met with excessive force and widespread arrests.
Closer to home, another mob breached the gates at the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia while Governor Inslee was preparing for the upcoming legislative session. We condemn yesterday’s actions in D.C. and Olympia, rhetoric aimed at fomenting insurrection, racist double standards in policing, and violence in all its forms. We need a safe and effective legislative session, and the behavior we witnessed yesterday is not the way forward. If this were a “normal” year and the lawmaking session was in-person, these attacks could escalate and hurt people — as well as impede their right to have their voices heard. We stand for making change in ways that put forth solutions, safeguard our communities and our environment, and that strengthen democracy rather than undermining it — writing and calling elected officials, attending committee hearings, peaceful protest and active participation in the public process.