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Message from the State Chair - Be Careful

6 Jan 2021 5:13 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

From: Tina Podlodowski <tina@wa-democrats.org>

Subject: PLEASE READ - Update on DC Mob, Olympia Incident, Your Safety

Date: January 6, 2021 at 3:31:49 PM PST

To: wsdcc@wa-democrats.orgexec@wa-democrats.orgcvc@wa-democrats.orgCCC@wa-democrats.org

Cc: Staff <staff@wa-democrats.org>

Dear Democrats,

I’m emailing to provide as much information as we can regarding the Pro-Trump mob violence at the U.S. Capitol campus today, and ask you to take your safety very seriously today, and in the days to come. Please.

Every member of our Congressional delegation is physically safe, as are their staff.

Speaker Pelosi and soon-to-be Majority Leader Schumer are calling for Trump to demand his people leave the city, and we echo their call for a return to peaceful order in DC. A 6pm curfew is in effect per order of Mayor Muriel Bowser, and will remain in effect until 6am Thursday. 

There is currently an emergent issue in our state capitol in Olympia, where a crowd has gathered outside of the Governor’s mansion. The Governor and his family and staff are safe.

As you can read from many news accounts, Trump continues to dispute the election results, without evidence, and has encouraged his supporters to attend rallies around the country today - including one in Olympia. He took to the stage about noon in DC, still falsely claiming he had won the election. Later at the U.S. Capitol, Trump supporters pushed past police who were trying to block them from entering the building as lawmakers inside debated the counting of electoral college votes confirming the Biden/Harris victory. A mob was able to breach security and successfully enter the building, where one person was shot and has died, and damage was caused. Lawmakers and staff were evacuated.

Let’s be honest here. Today was a massive attack on the American system of democracy by white domestic terrorists. Let’s get real here. We’ve seen more force, including deadly force, used against Americans peacefully marching for Black lives to matter than we do when CONFIRMED White nationalist groups are marching through the halls of our nation’s Capitol. 

This is not how you defend democracy. This is how you ride the wave of hate - racist hate - generated by a wannabe dictator and an IMPEACHED President who refuses to respect the voices and votes of the majority of Americans. 

This is not new to the Republican Party under Trump, either here in Washington State or nationally. This is the culmination of four years of his dangerous, anti-democratic rhetoric. We’ve seen repeated instances of the embrace of this kind of extremist violence among the WA GOP, who have failed time and time again to condemn that behavior - in Matt Shea, and Robert Sutherland, and Jim Walsh, and Loren Culp and on and on.

We cannot stop our work, or our efforts. This cannot stand.

This is a dark day for our republic, but there is a new dawn ahead for our nation. With Democrats now in control of the Senate after last night’s victories in Georgia, and President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President election Kamala Harris set to take office in two weeks, this unacceptable act of domestic terrorism will not be forgotten and those responsible will surely be held accountable.

Right now, I am most worried about you, and especially our BIPOC, recent immigrant, undocumented or gender non-binary democrats who in the past have been targeted by extremists.  

Please - reach out to each other and make sure that your local folks are safe, and and take the time to talk to each other. Please report any threatening notes, or calls or social media, any "non-normal" activity near your homes, or other disturbances to your local police and to us. We can help with this reporting if necessary. If you need guidance, you can reach our Communications Director Will Casey at emergency@wa-democrats.org. Will is an attorney and will help you navigate that reporting process, but we are no substitute for contacting your local law enforcement

Additionally, if you are at all concerned about anything that has occurred in the last few days please reach out. We are here for you and it’s a scary time - we want to be able to help and to track patterns across the state if necessary. 

After the December arson at our Spokane County Democrats office, and with additional reports of pipe bombs and gunfire reported in the United State Capitol as well as the Democratic National Committee Headquarters, I also fear local actors may look to replicate the actions of their national counterparts. I want to be clear that we do not have reason to think at this time that there is any coordination between the actions in DC with groups here in Washington State, but this situation is obviously still developing, and your personal safety should be of paramount priority to all of us.

For your safety, at this point we also must recommend that any local party organizations with a physical offices immediately vacate any sensitive materials such as computers, data or records, or financials from that office, and then immediately suspend use of that office for at least the remainder of the week. Ensure all doors are locked, and no individuals’ belongings remain, and plan to check-in with our Party Affairs staff at the end of this week or early next about reopening.

I know that this is a difficult time, and hearing news like this is both incredibly scary and infuriating. To everyone in the State, this is a grim reminder of how dangerous some folks can be. It’s important that we all consider security as one of the top priorities in our organization - please take an extra step today to asses any physical spaces for security threats or concerns. Please connect with fellow Democrats. Please be sure to take the time you need for yourself today, and please reach out to us if you need to talk, or have any questions.

Thank you, Tina

Tina Podlodowski, Chair, Washington State Democrats



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