The violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday has shocked and dismayed us all. At Peace Direct, we grieve for all loss of life and for those who were left injured by the violence. We also recognize the damage caused to all Americans and to our democracy by the perpetrators and instigators, including President Donald Trump.
We commend the leaders of both parties in Congress who refused to let violence win. We affirm the words of Vice President Mike Pence as Congress reconvened to confirm the election of incoming President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris after the assault: “Violence never wins.”
January 6th, was sadly, only the latest in what is an entrenched conflict in the United States. A conflict fueled by President Trump’s undemocratic conduct and willful spread of misinformation. Its roots run deeper than this administration. The danger of further violence is very real and is emboldened by white supremacy, militarized policing and domestic extremism which is made worse by the wide availability of weapons.
All those responsible should be held accountable, including President Trump.
The eerily muted response by authorities toward the violence on Wednesday was in stark contrast to the highly militarized approach of security forces in response to the peaceful Black Lives Matter protests last year.
Only by acknowledging and undoing the racism within our institutions can a just peace for all Americans be realized. More militarized policing and further securitization of our communities will not bring lasting peace.
As peacebuilders, we abhor all violence in all forms. Our focus is to address the grievances which lay behind conflict on all sides. We will affirm human value and dignity, and advance greater justice in our society.
Today, the U.S. is gripped by division. It won’t be resolved quickly or easily. But we know that it must be turned toward a more peaceful future. This will require the long, hard work of peacebuilding, which is always led by ordinary people, community and civic leaders and people who passionately defend democracy, justice and decency. Peace starts with everyone who refuses the chaos of violence and chooses instead to act for our common humanity.
At Peace Direct, we know that peace is possible. Every day, we support people around the world who are building peace in their communities amid political strife, uncertainty and war. Here in the U.S. we can learn more from peacebuilders in the days and months ahead to prevent further violence and open the way for healing.
Now, we urge all Americans to join us in this work. Support your community, your neighbors, your friends and loved ones to believe in and work toward a peaceful transition and future. Together we can build a long-term path toward a more just and united country.
Please sign our peace pledge today and say no to violence and chaos.