— LeBeau Kpadenou
Co-Chair, Green Party of Florida
January 6, 2021
Yes, this was a failed coup attempt.
Earlier today, a pro-Trump rally consisting of groups like the Proud Boys turned into a mob, invading the US Capitol building during the presidential elector vote count.
A young woman who had been a member of this mob gave an interview, shortly after she was maced by authorities. While being comforted by a man off-frame who had his arm around her, she paintatively complained of how she had been maced. When asked to explain further, she said she had just entered the Capitol when she was violently ejected and maced. When asked, she told the camera man she was named Elizabeth, and she was from Knoxville, Tennessee.
Then she was asked why she’d wanted to go into the Capitol. “We’re storming the Capitol, it’s a revolution!”
She didn’t say it like a battle cry. She said it like she thought that question was stupid, like she thought the answer obvious.
They are deluded, i.e., believing something that is not true. She was shocked to be maced while storming the Capitol with both houses in session. She thought that she and a mob led by Donald Trump could execute a revolution by taking a government building that they were sorely unequipped to seize or hold. She publicly identified herself and stated her intentions to overthrow the government by intimidation or force.
They have been emboldened, not just by Donald Trump and those in government who support his claims, but by a law enforcement community that has coddled them, has treated them as allies. They have been protected by a criminal justice system that has sheltered them while they crush the forces of Black Lives Matter. This selective use of force is overtly political, endorsed at the highest levels of government as the forces of reaction tried to storm the Capitol and prevent an orderly transition of power.
I am not an advocate of the carceral state, of heavy handed law enforcement and harsh sentences, but I am a believer in equal protection under the law. These actions must have consequences. In a country where protestors were charged with conspiracy and threatened with decades of imprisonment for just being near vandalism during the 2017 presidential inauguration, Fascist gangs must no longer be allowed to roam free with impunity.
Chickens are coming home to roost.
A year ago, the Organization of American States and the United States cited so-called “irregularities” in the Bolivian election to foment a right wing coup. Evo Morales, who had won the election, was forced to flee the country. The cited irregularities were large fluctuations to the running count from day to day as votes came in from different parts of the country, and have since been debunked. Almost no one in the media or in our government on either side of the aisle spoke up against this informational warfare against the Morales government, yet seem shocked when the same tactics are used by the same people against our own system.
When the crowd erected a large wooden cross in front of the Capitol, I was reminded of the far right coup president of Bolivia, as she wielded an enormous Bible as she took power.
Our attacks on Venezuela are even more egregious. Maduro was declared winner in the May 2018 election, after the opposition had told its constituents to boycott the election. After the OAS declared the election fraudulent, in part due to low voter turnout, Trump declared Jaun Guaidó president of the country. Few of our elites objected. Just last week, Congress approved $30 million in its Covid relief package to spend on opposing Maduro. Now, after losing an election in which he actually discouraged his supporters from mail-in voting, Trump has declared Trump to be re-elected as president.
Trump is squarely to blame for fomenting the actions in DC today. Our politicians and our media have been his accomplices.
P.S. One of the primary arguments in the Green Party’s decade-long crusade against the use of voting machines is that they erode public trust in election results. Now is the time to go back to paper ballots, hand-counted in public.