Written by Beckett Glass (News Editor)
Wednesday the fifth of January 2020, was the closest the country has been to collapse since the Civil War. Congress was required to adjourn due to threats of violence, this was the first instance in the history of our country. They did not adjourn when the Confederate army surrounded the city with cannons nor when the British burned Washington to the ground.
During the violence, the entire National Guard Component of Washington DC was deployed which is about 1,100 service members not counting the DC Air National Guard. The state of Virginia sent assistance from the VA National Guard and VA State Police to assist capitol police in quelling the violence. In addition to that Governor Cuomo had sent the New York State National Guard to Washington D.C to help keep the peace until the election. There were five deaths in the Capitol Wednesday as a result of the riot, including a capitol police officer.
The New York State National Guard is being deployed to DC to help with inauguration security. Col. Richard Goldberg of the Media Affairs desk with the NY National Guard stated: “Soldiers and Airmen from the New York National Guard will deploy to DC as part of a multistate effort to assist the DC National Guard in the inauguration event as a special national event. The National Guard has routinely provided this support and NY forces have been present in DC in 2016, 2012, 2008, etc. Our Soldiers and Airmen have training in the types of crowd control, traffic control, and security checkpoint missions that we are being requested to perform.” The press desk at the National Guard Headquarters was contacted for inquiry but did not respond.
Bruce McPherson, the County Supervisor of our District (District 5) stated: “The actions that took place on January 6 have the potential to affect every American because of their unprecedented nature. But my sense is that our community is only made stronger when we stand together in opposition to violence, wherever it may be. I believe peaceful demonstrations always have more impact in the long run.” McPherson went on to explain how he wants to prevent violence like at the capitol in our county: “While I don’t expect to see that kind of violence in our community, there is progress to be made toward preventing other kinds of violence locally. It’s more important now than ever not only to support our local law enforcement officers, who were among the first in the nation to integrate Community Policing techniques. But we must also increase our investment in mental health and substance abuse treatment, conflict resolution and poverty reduction, all of which can help to prevent violence.” McPherson continued by saying what his message for high schoolers watching this unfold: “My message is one of civility: Be kind, tell the truth, and talk through conflict rather than use violence to remedy it. A respectful exchange of ideas, opinions, and values will always lead to a better outcome.”
Chief Deputy Chris Clark of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office stated: “We have a unit within our investigations division that monitors social media sites such as indybay. The protests will happen and the question that we ask is: Do we have to be visible? Sometimes we don’t and we do not want to appear intimidating. We have enough people that if something were to happen we would have people ready to respond. It is about preparation. We want to make sure that people can exercise their first amendment rights in a safe environment.” He went on to talk about how the department trains in de-escalation techniques to ensure that deputies work with protest organizers to resolve any problems present. “Yes, [We train] twice a year but this year we were only able to do it once due to COVID-19, we give patrol teams a problem to solve. They train in de-escalation, so we do not resort to using force. In the scenario of an unruly crowd, we would communicate with the organizer instead of using force.” Clark went on to explain what the legal recourse would be if a Deputy used excessive force at the protest. “If a cop anywhere uses more force than required could be facing a battery charge or worse. We review our uses of force every month. It is keeping an eye on what is going on. We do de-escalation training. I love body-worn cameras because we are able to review the footage to see how the deputy acted in the situation.”
There are no words that can accurately describe the seditious acts committed by the Trump supporters present. They marched confederate battle flags into the capitol, marking the first time that a confederate banner had breached the capitol, marking a near end to the republic we cling to. To add insult to injury they lowered the banner of the United States from the Capitol building, raising instead a Trump flag. How can that be described as anything other than insurrection of the highest order? They were not protesters nor rioters, even the latter is too kind a word to describe the acts committed against the United States. Domestic Terrorists perpetrated the attack on our Capitol, not protestors. If any other activist group came even close to the Capitol they would not have been met with pepper spray, they would have been met with bullets and thousands of arrests.