During Lodi’s City Council meeting on January 6, 2021, several members spoke out on the protests at the California State Capitol and the insurrection that occurred earlier in the day at the United States Capitol.
At the time the comments were made, news was still breaking and emotions were high. We saw as Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol after a “Stop the Steal” rally where (now former) President Trump continued to push the idea that the election was rigged and that he in fact won the presidency. In reality, Donald Trump lost the popular vote by over seven million votes, he lost the electoral college by 74 votes, and the only lawsuit his team won was to allow everyone to view ballot counters closer than usual. Audits and recounts brought up no evidence of mass voter fraud.
There was also a protest at California’s capitol where Trump supporters listened to President Trump’s speech over loud speakers, and protesters spoke out against Governor Newsom’s business closures as a response to the COVID pandemic, according to CapRadio.orog
Council Member Doug Kuehne was the first to comment on the protests and riots during January 6th’s city council meeting. His comments began at the 11:30 mark, “It was my stance, and I believe the rest of the city council’s stance, that violence should never be tolerated. Freedom of speech should always be allowed. And so with today’s action at our state capitol, I am quite literally set back in my seat, as many Americans are, that a small handful of hundreds of thousands of people that showed up at our nation’s capitol today created some violent acts on our capitol and our nation’s capitol, and it puts a blemish on our nation. So, I would just ask that peaceful protests continue, that reasonable heads would prevail.”
Council Member Kuehne then stated that both sides (Biden/Harris vs Trump/Pence) have shown a lack of character throughout the election, but then appeared to take a political side with his final comments:
“And there certainly is a discrepancy in our nation currently when one side says that protesters can protest and burn down federal buildings, and it’s just there way of communicating, and then they decry something else when it happens on the opposite side of the aisle. There’s a huge disparity at where each party is at. And I would hope, I’m certain, that it won’t happen in local politics. This is more of a state and federal problem. But I hope that reasonable heads will prevail in the future, and we will stay reasonable here in Lodi as well.”
Opinion: This has been a conservative talking point since the capitol riots, where some compare Black Lives Matter protests from summer 2020 with the capitol insurrection from early January 2021. The BLM protests contained a wide range of people, including destructive anarchists, antifascists, and rioters, but their base message was against unjust and unaccounted police brutality and murders from all over the nation. The insurrection on January 6th was a group of supporters of a specific political candidate (Donald Trump), stating he did not lose his election. They stormed the United State capitol building as the electoral college votes were being certified by Congress, after President Trump’s rally where he specifically said the group would walk over to the US Capitol to cheer on some of their representatives, and not cheer on a few others. It is clear that one side was fighting against police injustice and the other was trying to impose a coup. In fact, after the federal buildings were attacked, President Trump sent federal troops with their names and badges covered in unmarked vehicles to abduct protesters on the street. That is not something we ever want to see in the United States of America.
Council Member Khan also wanted to offer his comments on the capitol protests, “Today has been a really difficult day in our country’s history. I understand that many today in our country and in our community feel lost. But at the end of the day, that they don’t have a voice in government, a representative form of democracy, it only works when the people believe the system is fair and their vote is counted. I believe every American’s first amendment right to assemble and protest; however, violence is never the answer. So I hope everything goes back to normal. And my prayers are for our country and for the people.”
Finally, Council Member Mikey Hothi offered his thoughts on the capitol riots before ending comments on non-agenda items, “This is a pretty sad day in our history. I’m thankful that the protests in Sacramento, and then also I was reading the police shift summary and it looks like the event over in the Lowe’s parking lot went incident free, so I’m just thankful that Lodians are acting peacefully and hopefully having respectful dialogues.”
The City Council meeting moved on after the 16:00 mark in the Facebook live stream. Do you have comments about the US Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021? Leave a comment below.