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On the Siege at the U.S. Capitol – a Note from Executive Director David Stern

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The following letter was sent from David Stern, Equal Justice Works Executive Director, to staff in response to yesterday’s hate-filled siege on the U.S. Capitol.

Colleagues –

Yesterday’s hate-filled violent siege on the Capitol was scary and upsetting, especially considering it was the president and certain members of Congress who incited the mob. As our Board Chair, Ivan Fong, said, “A sad, disappointing and candidly disgraceful day for us as a nation that professes to be a representative democracy governed by the rule of law.”

The actions we saw yesterday were designed to intimidate, silence, and undermine our democracy. These actions are directly inconsistent with our core organizational values: equal access to justice, opportunity, service, community, and passion. The behavior we witnessed was particularly frightening because we are based in Washington, D.C., and many of you and our Fellows live in the local area. My thoughts are with all of you, our Fellows, and our community, as we continue to navigate this upsetting time.

It was also deeply troubling to see the contrast with how these violent rioters were treated in comparison to the peaceful protestors in support of Black Lives Matter, who were subjected to tear gas, rubber bullets, and batons. I believe yesterday’s events would have resulted in more violent reactions from the police had the rioters been Black.

We believe in our nation’s promise of equal justice for all, and we condemn anti-democratic and violent acts that seek to block the American ideal of a peaceful transition of power.

I hope you all stay safe and are taking care of your emotional well-being in these very troubling days.

David Stern
Equal Justice Works Executive Director

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