Members of Congress ended the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 storming of the United States Capitol with a candlelight vigil on the Capitol building’s front steps late Thursday.
The event, dubbed the “Candlelight Vigil for Democracy,” was organized in part by the group Shut Down DC, a group founded by “Antifa activists” who promised to “burn down the American plantation,” according to Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO).
Prior to the event, Hawley called on Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to condemn the organizers and cancel their support for the candlelight vigil event.
“When it comes to political violence and criminal obstruction of the government by the left, the silence by the Democrats has been deafening,” Hawley’s letter to the two top Democrats stated. “Democrats looked the other way when Antifa rioters torched a federal courthouse in Portland. They did the same when left-wing rioters in Seattle seized power from a democratically elected government and tried to secede by creating a breakaway anarchist zone.”
“And they did the same when hundreds unlawfully trespassed into the Senate to disrupt the nomination process of Justice Kavanaugh and then tried to breach the Supreme Court in an attempt to prevent Justice Kavanaugh from taking his oath,” he continued. “It is time to end this hypocrisy.”
ShutDown DC’s website shows the group was founded in 2019 “to respond to the Youth Climate Strikes’ Call to Action.” The activist organization wrote that “forcing Trump from office is the only way to protect ourselves and the people we love from Trump’s wrath, so we will act with the urgency that the situation requires.”
Hawley highlighted that Shut Down DC has engaged in “calculated, unlawful harassment campaigns” against several Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Rand Paul. The group also terrorized Hawley’s wife and newborn child at their home last year, screaming threats through bullhorns, vandalizing property, trespassing, and physically shoving one neighbor who asked them to stop.
Also on Thursday, President Joe Biden made a speech acknowledging the anniversary of the Capitol riot.
“You can’t love your country only when you win,” Biden said. “You can’t obey the law only when it’s convenient. You can’t be patriotic when you embrace and enabled lies.”
“We must decide what kind of nation are going to be. Are we going to be a nation that accepts political violence as a norm? Are we going to be a nation where we allow partisan election officials to overturn the legally expressed will of the people?”