January 6 vigil on responsibility, consequences and Elise Stefanik

GLENS FALLS, NY (NEWS10) – Larry Fine, co-chair of Saratoga-Warren-Washington Progressive Action, wasn’t the only person addressing a crowd on a chilly Thursday night at Centennial Circle. But he summed up the message.

“Many words have been used to describe what happened that day. Riot. Insurgency. Demonstration. Disturbance. A normal day. What was it? We were attacked. There was a terrorist attack. against our country, trying to overthrow our government. ”

Fine stood with the roundabout behind her back, speaking to a crowd of around 80 local residents holding signs, photos and, significantly, candles. Thursday night’s rally was in memory of what happened a year before, during the riot at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Fine led the group in a moment of silence, followed by a performance of “This Little Light of Mine”. The silence, song and lights were all in memory of those who died in the attack in Washington, DC by a crowd of supporters of President Donald Trump seeking to overturn the 2020 election results. Names read included Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood Capitol police officers; Jeffrey Smith, a metropolitan police officer; and Kyle DeFreytag and Gunther Hashida, two officers whose suicides in July were linked to the attack.

This was one of the goals of the rally. Another was accentuated by placards held by many condemning Trump and NY-21 Congresswoman Elise Stefanik – and by Stefanik’s office, not a block down Warren Street since the vigil.

Members of the North Country Light Brigade militant group hold up placards during a candlelight vigil in memory of the January 6, 2021 riot at the United States Capitol and calling for accountability of NY-21 MP Elise Stefanik, in downtown Glens Falls, NY (Photo: Jay Petrequin)

“We are here to tell people that we believe we need to improve our democracy and our voting rights, and urge Congress to deal with it,” said Harrison Freer, member of the City of Queensbury Board of Directors , present as a member of the activism of the North Country Light Brigade. group. “Ms. Stefanik has been on the other side of this battle, and so a lot of people here are disappointed with her performance as a representative and want to be known.

Stefanik, a Republican and three-term congressman in New York’s 21st Congressional District, was one of more than 150 Republican MPs and Senators to condemn the results of the constituency declaring President Joe Biden the winner in the 2020 election. Two months later, the day after the assault on Capitol Hill, she addressed the US House of Representatives to condemn the attack.

Stefanik on Thursday highlighted the condemnation – not her support for Trump, which many in Glens Falls presented Thursday as proof she didn’t speak for them. In a statement, Stefanik said:

“On January 6, 2021, I firmly and clearly condemned the violence and destruction that has taken place on the United States Capitol – just as I strongly condemned the entire year of violence and lawlessness that has raged in our country throughout 2020. Our nation owes a debt of gratitude. to the United States Capitol Police for their bravery and heroism that day and to those who sacrifice themselves and serve in law enforcement every day across the country.

Vigil organizer Christine Nicols led Thursday night’s event by calling Stefanik and all other Republican lawmakers who have joined in opposing the 2020 election results.

“These same lawmakers continue to spread daily lies about the validity of the 2020 election, to keep their supporters enraged – and engaged,” she said. “Here in our own NY-21, Elise Stefanik has continued to divide and gain notoriety by repeating this big lie.”

A resident sends a sign message to the vigil in Glens Falls, NY, in memory of the January 6, 2021 riot at the United States Capitol. (Photo: Jay Petrequin)

Stefanik was not in Glens Falls on Thursday, but two people seeking to overthrow her in the 2022 midterm election were. Both had a lot to say about why.

“One thing is clear: January 6 was just training,” said Democrat Matt Castelli, a Saratoga Springs resident and former CIA agent campaigning for Stefanik’s seat. “The fight for American democracy is upon us now, and this election is where we take a stand. We must make sure that we do not allow officials, who break their oath to defend and protect this country, an opportunity to seek to destroy it from within.

A passing motorist chanted “Let’s go, Brandon” behind Castelli as he spoke, using a phrase meant to dig President Joe Biden. It was one of the many drivers who honked their horns in support of the vigil, across all speakers including fellow Democratic NY-21 candidate Matt Putorti, who recalled how he spent 2020 election night, working in a polling station in Detroit. .

“Around lunchtime, a woman came to my polling station who appeared to either be going to work or taking a break. She was wearing a Wendy’s apron and visor, and she was having trouble finding her polling station, ”Putorti said. “Ours was the second she visited and unfortunately it wasn’t the right one either.”

Putorti said the woman couldn’t stay, but that he hoped she would eventually find the right place to vote.

“She was working so hard to come forward for our country.”

Other speakers included Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim and local activist and former State Assembly candidate Joe Seeman.

No counter-demonstration by pro-Trump groups took place except for the occasional comment of a passing vehicle. Groups in the north of the country supporting President Trump used to organize rallies and counter-protests in the city since 2018, but have stopped in recent years after the city of Glens Falls passed a law requiring everything large gatherings or gatherings require a permit.

The Glens Falls candles were far from the only ones kept in memory of the day. Another event took place in Albany, and the mobil.us activism website has listed many more in neighboring regions and states.

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