DC Council Statement on This Week’s Demonstrations in the District

WASHINGTON, DC – The Council of the District of Columbia Council issued the following statement today:

We urge people to avoid the downtown and federal areas where permits for events have been issued for January 5 and 6. In similar recent events, white supremacists and militia groups have created conflict and provoked violence, creating harm for individuals and to our institutions. We urge residents to recognize these are the voices of those who have already lost. Votes have been certified and the demonstrations this week will not change the outcome of this election. There is no gain for all people who desire peace in engaging with those who come here with malicious intent, and doing so only brings great risk.

The peaceful transfer of power following a free and fair election is a cornerstone of our democracy. Any efforts to disenfranchise voters and overturn the will of the electors is nothing short of betraying our very American democracy and should be strongly condemned by all.

The District of Columbia is no stranger to peaceful demonstrations and protecting individuals’ rights to exercise their First Amendment. In an unequivocal and unanimous voice, we also condemn hate and the actions witnessed against District residents, faith-based institutions, and the District’s core values in the past months – specifically actions to destroy symbols that proclaim that Black Lives Matter. This Council has time and again worked to strengthen our laws and all legal protections against hate. We stand ready to protect our residents.

We recognize that downtown is home to residents and businesses whose rights must be respected and protected as we work to keep all safe, including residents who are currently homeless. We call upon the Mayor’s Office, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and coordinating agencies to ensure this is a priority as events go forward this week. Further, we call on MPD and all law enforcement to ensure safety, prevent violence, and to do so with no appearance of preference or disparate treatment.

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