Responding to Insurrection: DC Locals Call for Action

Updated with additional links on 1/15/21.

Since J6

ANCs

A group of DC’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners, some of whom are still in their first few days of elected service, prepared recommendations on 1/11/21 for the DC government to “take all possible steps to prevent another invasion of armed insurrectionists and protect DC residents, particularly those facing increased risks such as individuals experiencing homelessness and service workers.” These are discussed in details on the January 13 “Community thru Covid” and shared here in full (PDF to download, just below).

Here, in a related exchange, is a letter ANC 6B10 Commissioner Denise Krepp is sending to DOJ, as a victim impact statement on the J6 events, along with a response, signed by residents and commissioners across town. The response calls on ANC commissioners to condemn white supremacy, acknowledge racial disparities in policing, and outline specific actions to combat white supremacy and systemic racism in their neighborhoods….thus, letter above.

Update: Airbnb initially worked with DC Councilmember Charles Allen to apply certain protections to neighbors in regard to rentals for the Inauguration week. Later, Arbnb announced that it was cancelling all DC reservations for that period.

Meanwhile, unhoused individuals and advocates continue to call for “Vacant to Virus Reduction” plans and other longer term solutions for housing as a human right. (See, e.g., our 12/2/20 show.)


Don’t Host Hate

The #DontHostHate coalition held a press conference on Thursday morning, asking hotels to shut down during the Inauguration week in order to protect workers and local people.


BLM-DC/Stop Police Terror

Black Lives Matter-DC and Stop Police Terror DC continue their work to inform the public about dangers inherent in policing in general and, in particular, specific officers and programs. Just two recent examples:

[Image text: “We would like to introduce you to the newly appointed Commander (Klan) with the @DCPoliceDept ,Robert Glover.He escorted the Proud Boys through DC streets & assisted them with attacking and assaulting Street Medics.They were present to assist if PB attack constituents.#DefundMPD“]

[Image text: “The DC Police Foundation sells board memberships to corporate donors for tens of thousands of dollars then funnels the money to the DC Police and buys them weapons and equipment they don’t have to publicly report on. Setting your money on fire would do more good for DC #DefundMP.” Embedded Tweet is from Muriel Bowser, reading: “People have asked how they can support @DCPoliceDept in this trying time By supporting the @DCPoliceFdtn, you can support our heroes”]


Police Support

We Act Radio and “Community Thru Covid” seek to promote perspectives that are LESS heard in- and outside the District. In the interest of completeness, however: DC is also home to many people and businesses who feel protected by police and military and do, as the mayor’s tweet above points out, seek to support police in everything from baking them cookies and offering prayers to increasing funding and power.


Before J6

BLM-DC

Well in advance of January 6, Black Lives Matter-DC was pushing for a variety of non-police safety measures:

Text versions of these graphic calls for action are below.

And, of course, as noted above, BLM-DC and so many other organizations have been working for years to help make the District safer for all residents and workers, with a focus on defunding police. Others have been at work in very different ways.


Downtown Congregations

Many others, including the Downtown Cluster of Congregations, were asking for their own approaches to safety. The Downtown Cluster of Congregations is a decades-long collaboration of houses of worship in DC’s downtown area with a focus on providing services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Cluster member congregations, including historic Black churches, were terrorized in the Dec 11-14 white supremacist incursion. Leading up to J6, the Cluster asked supporters for help:
— Request nearby bars and hotels to stop serving alcohol at 6 p.m. The Dec 12 rampage was fueled in part by heavy drinking, they said, and they called this “being a good neighbor.”
— For those represented in Congress: Contact Representatives and Senators for federal support of security expenditures, which otherwise unfairly over-burden DC’s budget.




Black Lives Matter Demands (from graphics above)

  1. Denounce all white supremacists who plan to come to DC around January 6 to overturn the results of a legitimate election and attack DC residents.
  2. Refuse to do business with white supremacists and hate groups who incite violence. We are calling on Holiday Inn Alexandria, Hyatt Place Washington DC/White House, Washington Marriott at Metro Center, Holiday Inn Capitol Hill and the Willard Hotel to do the same.
  3. Businsses to enforce mask and social distancing requirements as well as COVID-19 ordinances for out-of-town visitors.
  4. Protect our sacred Black spaces. White supremacists attacked historic Black churches and they attacked Black Lives Matter Plaza, where we memorialize Black people who were killed by police.

“Mayor Bowser, Deputy Chief Contee and local businesses tell the racists that they’re not welcome in our city…Earlier this month, the mayor, the police and local businesses aided and abetted white supremacists by allowing them to run rogue across our city, desecrating Black churches, violating Black Lives Matter Plaza, all while refusing to wear masks and socially distance.” — NeeNee Tay, Core organizer with BLM-DC

“Some of the hotels that have issued statements in support of Black Lives Matter in the past are opening their doors to Proud Boys and other white supremacists. We’re putting them and every business on notice: we don’t need your lip service, we demand concrete action. Make your customers and guests aware that you reject white supremacy and white supremacists. Make your businesses ‘hate-free zones’ to protect your staff, guests, and city.” — DC Black Lives Matter demands city government and business leaders stop attacks by violent Trump supporters.

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Published by vspatz

Virginia hosts Community Under Covid at We Act Radio, podcasts at Rereading4Liberation.com, blogs on miscellaneous Jewish topics at "A Song Every Day, and manages the Education Town Hall and #WeLuvBooks sites. More at Vspatz.wordpress.com

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