WASHINGTON – To mark the one year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol by an anti-democracy mob intent on disrupting the peaceful transfer of power, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (AFGE) National President Everett Kelley released the following statement:
“On this day last year, I called the events of January 6 what they were – a desperate attempt by a desperate man to use political violence to cling onto power after a clear defeat at the ballot box.
“Every patriotic citizen was outraged by that brazen effort to deny our fellow Americans that most fundamental, God-given right – to choose our own leaders – and instead leave our nation in thrall to a fantasy and an impostor to the presidency.
“But the attack on our democracy, on our unalienable rights, and on truth itself did not begin on January 6, 2021. Neither did it end among the shattered glass on the steps of the Capitol building.
“For years, the ringleaders of the January 6 attacks spread lies about America’s government and the public servants who make it work. They set about to destroy the independent unions, like mine, which represent those law enforcement officers, food inspectors, doctors and nurses, case workers, emergency response personnel, and so many more.
“They told Americans that if government scientists produce a report that politicians don’t like, those politicians shouldn’t deal with the truth. They should ignore it, censor it, or have the scientists’ jobs shipped to another state.
“They told us that government workers don’t need a merit system, or due process, or union rights, or a contract, because their only qualification should be loyalty to the president.
“They told us that if the predicted path of a hurricane wasn’t politically expedient, it was just fine to take out a marker and change it.
“Sure, they said, others may have facts, but we’ve got alternative facts.
“Every step of the way, as they got more Americans to go along with these smaller, less significant attacks on the truth, they became more confident they could get away with one last big one.
“Instead, they failed.
“Today, these same malign actors are once again hard at work, spreading more lies and discord, trying to guarantee their own success by sabotaging our democracy, propelled forward by no higher purpose than their own lust for power and fear of accountability.
“In this, they will fail again.
“In 2020, we turned out in record numbers to make sure our votes were counted, and the will of the people prevailed. That is our story. That is who we are as Americans.
“In this country, the voters decide the outcome of our elections. Not a handful of politicians, and not a violent mob.
“We the people will never surrender our democracy.”