FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 7, 2021

Contact:
David Turnbull, david [at] priceofoil.org
Elizabeth Bast, ebast [at] priceofoil.org

Oil Change U.S. Demands Immediate Action in Response to Attempted Coup

In response to the events in Washington DC and around the country on January 6th, including a violent attempted coup, Elizabeth Bast, Executive Director of Oil Change U.S., released the following statement:

“Yesterday’s violent insurgency at the U.S. Capitol and a number of state capitals, provoked and supported by Donald Trump and his enablers in Congress and the Executive Branch, was reprehensible. It was also an inevitable outcome of the hateful rhetoric and incitement to violence that Trump has spewed since before he took office, and particularly in recent months around the election.

“Repeated messages from Trump baselessly challenging the integrity and results of the Presidential election, supported by continued conspiracy ramblings and objections by many Republicans in Congress, directly led to yesterday’s attempted coup. This challenge to the peaceful transfer of power is a full assault on the fabric of democracy in the United States.

“Every single day Trump remains in office poses a danger to the United States and its people. Congress should act decisively to impeach and remove him from office immediately. Those elected officials who supported his false claims have violated their oaths of office; the members of Congress who objected to the peaceful transfer of power should be investigated and expelled from Congress.

“The lack of preparation and inadequate response by the U.S. Capitol Police and other relevant agencies to the violent attack on the Capitol should also be investigated. It has been abundantly clear for weeks — including through Trump’s own words — what would happen yesterday. Yet, this attack on the Capitol while the entire Congress was at work inside resulted in minimal arrests. We mourn the loss of life, but cannot help but note that history shows that had the insurrection not been a mob of mostly white people, the force used by police and resulting death toll would surely have been higher. Black Lives Matter protests in DC and around the country this summer provide troubling proof of this racist reality.

“Even with all that has transpired, we have significant opportunities to rebuild our democracy in coming months and years. Indeed, a strong, sustained response to these events is critical so as not to normalize political violence.

“The Georgia U.S. Senate results, which were overshadowed yesterday by the happenings at the Capitol, were historic, with Reverend Raphael Warnock elected as the state’s first Black Senator and Jon Ossoff as its first Jewish Senator. The election shifts the balance of power in the Senate, giving deciding votes to Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, the first woman and second person of color to be elected Vice President. The diversity and representation of elected officials only continues to grow.

“Responding to the threat of climate change will require a wholly moral and definitive response from elected leadership. A functioning U.S. democracy is and will always be key to our global climate future. There is much work to be done to restore our democracy to what it was before the Trump destruction of the past four years, and to improve it further until it is truly inclusive, representative, and responsive to the will of all of the American people and not only those with privilege, access, and money.”

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