Chiera, Weingarten react to chaos at the Capitol

AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera and AFT President Randi Weingarten have issued statements in response to the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Donna M. Chiera:
“Of all the images capturing the chaos at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the ones that struck me to the core were those of police with their service weapons drawn, aimed at angry civilians still unwilling to accept the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

“Educators and students already have enough challenges and stress due to the pandemic. The last thing we need right now is to see anything that could possibly remind us of the deadly school shootings that have occurred in America. Government buildings, like our schools, are foundations of our country where discourse always has its place, but never firearms.

“Regardless of who we voted for in the presidential election, let’s remember we live in a democracy, and in the wake of this week’s chaos at the Capitol, let’s all do our part to restore the image of America as the greatest democracy of all.”

Randi Weingarten:
“[On Jan. 6], despite partisan and petulant attempts to undo the will of [American] voters, democracy prevailed. We will teach our children about this moment for centuries to come and will work to restore future generations’ faith in the fidelity of our peaceful transfer of power.  

“Our country continues to face massive challenges, as evidenced by the violent display in Washington [on Jan. 6]. As we struggle to contain COVID-19, get families back to work and get students safely back to school, let us remember that [President] Trump and many of his right-wing allies continue to focus on obstructing the very function of our government. … [Jan. 6] was a tragic reminder of just how dangerous an unchecked despot and his followers truly can be.”

The above is only a portion of Weingarten’s statement. Her full statement can be read here.