UMB joins COPA in this Statement on the Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on 1/6/2021 (UMB is an active member of COPA - Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action Copa.iaf.org)
The violent incursion of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, January 6 disrespected, demeaned, and threatened the right of every citizen who peaceably engages in the democratic process in our country.
Deliberation, debate, argument, compromise, negotiation; these are the means to advance interests in a democracy. The leaders and organizations of COPA, Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action, an Affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation, the oldest and largest broad based organizing institution in our nation, teach and practice these political skills every day. We vigorously engage on issues that impact our families and travel regularly to state capitals, City Halls, and decision-making chambers to advance these issues. That the buildings and halls of power belong to us is made self-evident in our consistent and persistent presence throughout years of effort. Our work is carried out through hundreds of conversations full of respectful dissent, concession, and sometimes victory; in other words, democratically.
What happened yesterday at the U.S. Capitol not only resulted in the deaths of four individuals and the arrests of dozens of rioters, it also endangered the officials, staff members, and public safety officers who were present. Ultimately it put at risk our democratic institutions by introducing violence to what has, until now, been a tradition of a peaceful transfer of power in our national leadership. To arrive at consent at the point of a gun is the weakest form of power, and our nation was weakened in the eyes of the world on January 6 by the use of violence in place of political debate.
As a network of religious, labor, education and community leaders from all walks of life and all political persuasions, we condemn the acts of insurrection and violence in Washington, D.C., and recall the words of Abraham Lincoln in his second inaugural address at the conclusion of the Civil War: "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan -- to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."
Our work is before us!
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