Councilmembers denounce insurrection at U.S. Capitol

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At their Tuesday meeting, Long Beach councilmembers condemned the insurrection and violence that took place at the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

“January 6 was meant to be a day when the routine procedure of counting electoral ballots and certifying the election of President-Elect Joe Biden was to take place, Councilmember Roberto Uranga said. “It was anything but routine.”

On Jan. 6, the United States Congress was set to certify the electoral votes of the presidential election, of which President Joe Biden beat Donald Trump by 74 electoral votes. 

The fervor over election fraud came to an inflection point on Jan. 6, when a mob stormed the Capitol Building with Congressmembers still inside. 

“It was just a reminder of an unstable government, and that made me so sad. I know that a lot of Americans felt that way,” Councilmember Suzie Price said. “And I know a lot of Persians felt that way, because that’s exactly the government we all fled.”

When she was seven years old, Price lived through the Iranian Revolution and subsequent ousting of then-Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

She recalled waiting to be picked up by her parents, crouched underneath a desk with her school principal.

“The streets were just crowded with people. We could barely get our car through,” she said. “There were trash cans filled with fire. There were burning books related to the existing government.”

When she saw the events taking place at the U.S. Capitol on television, she said it “was the first time since I was seven years old, that’s 41 years, that I recall the vivid scenes from that day.”

Former President Donald Trump has long contested the election results. Even during the attack, he held steadfast to his claim that the election was stolen.

“We beat them four years ago. We surprised them. We took them by surprise and this year, they rigged an election,” he said during his Jan. 6 speech. “They rigged it like they’ve never rigged an election before.”

Many are accusing Trump of inciting violence, though it remains uncertain whether he will be criminally charged.

Other councilmembers expressed the fear they felt as they watched the events unfold.

“Watching it on TV, I was broken. I felt helpless and I am sure that a lot of residents felt the same way,” Zendejas said. “I will never be able to shake the fear in the faces of our elected officials that were on the floor that day.”

Councilmember Rex Richardson said that the events transcended politics.

“To see the Confederate flag flying inside the United States Capitol, particularly nowadays, it just reminds us all that it may be convenient to turn the cheek, to be neutral,” he said. “But this is one of those moments of significance, that we need to stand up and say, right is right and wrong is wrong. We have work to do as a country to bring everyone together.”

The council unanimously approved a recommendation to have the city attorney draft a resolution condemning the insurrection. 

The next city council meeting will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 2 via teleconference.

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