House Dems condemn insurrectionists at Jan. 6 remembrance event

HARRISBURG, Jan. 6 – State Reps. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, and Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, today honored U.S. Capitol police and denounced those who abetted the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection on the Capitol steps.

“Today, we honor those men and women in uniform who bravely endured the violence by a mob that followed prompts from President Trump,” Kim said. “Two years have passed but we know the emotional scars and physical trauma are still with them today.

“We remember Brian Sicknick, a Capitol police officer who returned to his office after the riot but collapsed and died the next day at the hospital after suffering two strokes.

“We want to thank all first responders who assisted that day and do so every day, and pray that they never have to experience that horrific event again.

“I want to sincerely thank the organizers for today’s event as it is so important to pause, albeit painful, to remember and not allow this dark moment in history to happen again.”

Smith-Wade-El spoke of the importance of defending democracy, counting every vote and fighting for marginalized communities.

“All of us deserve the fundamental American freedom to choose our leaders, and we do so by exercising the right to vote. For me, the right to vote is a precious gift given to me by grandparents and parents who fought and marched to ensure that I would have it,” Smith-Wade-El said. “The Jan 6. insurrectionists, their supporters in Congress, and the Pa. General Assembly tried to steal that from my family and yours.

“We the people responded at the ballot box in 2022 by sending a majority who believes in our rights to the General Assembly. I look forward to fighting to secure those rights beyond a shadow of a doubt, in defiance of those who want to steal the rights of Black folks, immigrants, working folks, parents, seniors and LGBTQ+ people.”

Speakers at the rally focused their attention on the Pennsylvania Freedom Caucus and called out the secrecy and extremism that has stemmed from far-right legislators.

The PFAC is invite only and members are not required to disclose their involvement. Policy, agenda and discussions from the meetings are not made public.

Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., traveled from his home district to condemn the insurrectionists and their supporters.

“January 6, 2021 was a shameful day in our nation’s history and if we don’t remember and learn from it, we are doomed to repeat it,” Kenyatta said. “Violent insurrectionists armed with weapons and lies told by former President Trump and Republican leaders about the 2020 presidential election led to this attack; he did nothing to stop the violence. Because of this rhetoric, lives were lost, including members of law enforcement.”