Connecticut pols mark one-year anniversary of U.S. Capitol riot

Wilms: ‘All those who participated should be fully prosecuted’

A Tweet posted Thursday by U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

NORWALK, Conn. – Thursday marked a “dark and terrible milestone, the anniversary of the most abhorrent attack on our country’s democratic institutions,” U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said to about 300 people attending an online vigil for Democracy, inspired by what’s now called simply “January 6,” the attack on the nation’s Capitol one year ago.

“But that day was not an isolated incident. It was a symptom, a symbol of the deeper destructive virus of violent extremism and domestic terrorism that continues to infect our nation,” Blumenthal said in a videotaped message, echoing thoughts shared by others. “The attack reminded us how fragile and endangered our institutions are, when our leaders fail to protect them.”

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Greenwich) said he and U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-3) were among the last members of Congress to get out of the chamber as supporters of then-President Donald Trump violently broke in, and “witnessed the weapons drawn on the insurrectionists.”

“As they tried to beat down the door, we witnessed an awful lot of panicked Capitol police officers, who kept us safe,” Himes said. “And as horrible as that day was, as horrible as my personal experience was, I will tell you that I am more concerned today for the future of our democratic republic than I was on January 6.”

For one thing, Trump refuses to acknowledge that he lost the 2020 election and for another, polls show “some two thirds of Republicans” believe President Joe Biden is illegitimate, in spite of “60-plus court decisions” that found no evidence of a stolen election, Himes said.

“And third, and just as concerning is that in swing states around the United States, Republican legislatures are working to end what went wrong for them last time,” taking authority way from the election officials who showed integrity and instead giving the authority to partisan legislators, Himes said. “…We have a lot of work to do.”

“Maybe what I think about first today is those police officers that lost their life, those that sustained significant injuries, and those that still to this day come to that building, knowing that the threat is not vanished, and that once again, they may be called upon to defend their country,” U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said.

He expressed hope that Congress would pass a voting rights bill, “that will go a very long way towards preserving our democracy” and go “a very long way to making sure that we survive this moment.”

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said, “We actually made tremendous gains in voting rights in Connecticut over the last year. In the last session alone, we passed voting rights for parolees, we codified the right to have registration at the DMV. And we did pass, finally, onto the ballot in 2022, a constitutional amendment to allow Connecticut to have early voting.”

And, “Although it was a year of reckoning in many ways, and the violence that people have talked about has continued, particularly, frankly, against election officials like myself, mostly in swing states, but everywhere,” she said. “Despite the anger and the divisions of our country, we made progress here.”

The vigil was organized as a call to action.

“January 6 was a ‘canary in the coal mine’ moment, alerting us that the struggle is no longer over the definition of or implementation of democracy but rather, whether our imperfect democracy will continue to exist and even grow or merely become a cover for autocratic rule of the few over the many,” said organizer David Vita, Director of Social Justice at the Unitarian Church in Westport.

“We call this gathering a vigil because we are not here as passive observers but as vigilant actors,” the Rev. John Morehouse said. “And that’s different than vigilantes which is the negative side of that.”


‘It’s become clear’

Democrats elsewhere were also making a call to action.

“One year after the treacherous assault on the US Capitol, it’s become clear that the deadly attack and Republican Party machinations before and after it had brought our nation to the brink of disaster,” State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) said in a Facebook video. “The good news is that we as Americans have a solution to this madness. …We must vote later this year, and again in 2024, for candidates who are committed to protecting our democracy, our Constitution and our rule of law.”

Republicans in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona are planning to replace “troublesome election officials” who refused to “bow to Donald Trump’s demands to fix the election in his favor,” Duff said. “Over the past year, 16 Republican governors have signed laws making it more difficult to vote.”

NancyOnNorwalk reached out for other opinions.

Acting Norwalk Republican Town Committee Chairman Fred Wilms wrote:

“The mob attack on the Capitol was an assault against our Republic. I never thought I would see such a thing. All those who participated should be fully prosecuted. I accept that Joe Biden is our President.

“Going forward we need to overhaul the Electoral Count Act of 1887 so the confusion around the role of Congress is eliminated.

“I remain optimistic about America. We have been through worse and have always overcome.”


Lisa Brinton, founder of Independents for Norwalk, wrote:

“I think hyper partisan politics and individuals or organizations encouraging polarization or stoking violence threatens our democracy.  However, in our ~250 years as a Republic, we’ve faced and overcome several difficult periods in history.  Rhetoric on both sides of the aisle must be toned down, especially in the age of social media and cable news, but I believe in the resilience and strength of our American norms and institutions.”


11 responses to “Connecticut pols mark one-year anniversary of U.S. Capitol riot”

  1. Ronald Koroscil

    I agree. Never should have happened. Misguided people performing these acts should be prosecuted. But to call it the most abhorrent act on democratic institutions is a bit to far in mind. To me everything in this country is a Democratic institution including the Twin Towers where thousands of lives were affected. Pearl Harbor is another example along with many others. Jan 6 should NEVER be compared to these events.

  2. Skip Hagerty

    How about also prosecuting those that were looting stores and burning people’s business to the ground in all those “peaceful protests” that occurred around the country? They even torched police stations with impunity. What do these politicians have to say about that?

  3. Bob Schumann

    Lisa Brinton, the insurrection at the U.S. Capital on January 6, 2021 was not the result of “rhetoric on both sides of the aisle.” The threat to our democratic republic, our right to fair elections and open access to voting is not due to “rhetoric on both sides of the aisle.” Biden called a spade a spade yesterday and I say good on him. If Republicans would have put country before Trump, put the blame where it belongs, denounce in no uncertain terms those individuals and groups promoting and executing the violence and be, in general, honest with the American people about the 2020 presidential election. Our country’s democratic institutions would not be under theat as it now is.

    You say, “I think hyper partisan politics and individuals or organizations encouraging polarization or stoking violence threatens our democracy.” You make it sound like a generic “both sides are the cause” sort of thing.

    To say that it’s the result of “both sides of the aisle” is just not so and saying that it is insults the readers’ intelligence.

  4. Jen S

    It was an honor to attend this vigil organized by WOW (Women On Watch) and Indivisible Stamford and Pink Wave Watch. Most important takeaway is that we all take ACTION STEPS now to prevent the ongoing damage to voting rights and save our democracy. Can we share those? i have reached out to them to see if there is a recap of the CTAs. Caroline Simmons, AG William Tong, Senator Blumenthal and many more gave poignant remarks. UNITY is vital!

  5. Niz

    Citizens need to protest more! Civil disobedience is a needed behavior considering how our reps/ legislators- law makings are not interested in the people, but the ‘corporations’ & their own interests.
    Let’s all stop claiming that’s not what’s happening in our country for decades… the past several years more intensely.
    More & more People are f’en poor Elderly are worse off. Jobs are off to other countries, higher education is insanely expensive, debt is horribly over the top , for the country and individuals. Taxes are insanely added & increased.
    Who can deny any of these facts? Even people that make good money for Fairfield county CT are well aware. All classes, races , etc… are as concerned.
    Now there were lots of ppl in DC 1/6/21 representing themselves and so on, and yes some got kinda crazy!! That is not acceptable, but to hold them for a year& criminalize them, some that did not participate in the over reactive behaviors is not how our country should handle this.
    If those that acted up badly get punished, justifiably Then the reps/legislators that are creating this mess need to face equal consequences, like resign, be investigated for their crimes too!! Cause if they weren’t failing as representatives then there would be NO CORRUPTION or insanely agitated citizens!! And that’s what I think ,

  6. J. P. Coleman

    Give “Oscars” to dems for excellence in “political theater”. – TOTAL B.S. The person responsible for Capital Security is Nancy ( the incompetent) Pelosi. She failed in her DUTYto protect the Capital. She allowed peaceful protest to turn into a full fledged riot, not an insurrection. Notably, not a single gun was confiscated among the hundreds of flag bearers. While a few hundred protesters did parade thru the Capital doing no damage, there were tens of thousands who never entered the Capital.The only person killed was Ashley Babbit, an in armed patriot & not a violent protester. Much of what the dems are claiming is totally overblown. The Himes & Blumenthal empty suits are a disgrace to the state & the congress. Those who did damage & were violent deserve to be held accountable, just like those who perpetrated the Russia Hoax.

  7. Piberman

    CT elected officials claiming parity of Jan 6th to Pearl Harbor or 9/11 ought visit the Floating Memorial over the Arizona at Pearl Harbor and see the tears of several hundred visitors normally present looking into the oily waters. Such a claim is deeply offensive to those of us who served our nation and our comrades/friends who “did not return”. Once upon a time our elected leaders respected “those who served”.

    I expect much better of Sen. Duff who found it important to remind us of Jan 6th. Would that he remember Pearl Harbor, 9/11, V/E and V/J days. Some of us do every day of our lives. And do so with deep sadness. Would that the Senator be reminded that none of the Jan 6 rioters were armed. Never before have unarmed rioters been deemed an “insurrection” by those familiar with military history. And so far one year later none of those arrested by our DofJ have been formally charged with the crime of “insurrection’.

    CT has more than its fair share of issues to attract the concern of its elected leaders than going fishing in DC waters.

  8. Piberman

    Our elected officials ought become more familiar with our US history if they really believe the unarmed mob that entered a poorly protected Capitol on Jan 6th was amongst the greatest or three greatest threat to our nation. And deserves a national day of remembrance as the greatest assault on our nation’s institutions. Shays whiskey rebellion is a good place to start. Followed by the attack on Fort Sumpter that led to a real rebellion ultimately causing the death of about 700,000 Americans. Lets not forget the bloody wars depriving millions of our native Americans of their ancestral homelands. Or the “March of Tears” – the forced westward march of the Cherokee nation ordered by Pres. Jackson. Or the War on the Veterans in DC during the Great Depression. Wasn’t the lynching of thousands of Blacks in the South post Civil War not a great assault on our nation ? Those wounds are still fresh.

    Testimonies have been made public that the Capitol Police and the Administration requested the National Guard provide back up to the expected demonstration. But those requests were refused by House leaders. Clearly with better security to an expected major demonstration Jan 6th would have had a far different outcome.

    What is most grievous is elected officials equating the Jan 6th riots by unarmed demonstrators with both Pearl Harbor and Sept. 11. Such comparison by our elected officials is truly odious and an insult to the thousands of military, civilians, police and firefighters who lost their lives in these events. How can we respect elected officials who do not respect those those who pledge their lives to protect our nation ? And fell defending our nation ?

  9. Sarah LeMieux

    Well, I think that finalizes my opinion of most Nancy commenters.

  10. Piberman

    Who and where are the “Domestic Terrorists” that so concern Sen Blumenthal ? And the Justice Dept that now has a new Domestic Terror Department in addition to the 35,000 working for the FBI. Where’s the evidence that the so called Domestic Terrorists are a greater threat than Real Terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Towers killing thousands ? How come one year after Jan 6 no one has been indicted on the crime of “sedition” ? Have any of the individual States funded new Domestic Teerror Departments ? Just the Federal Justice Department ?

  11. john flynn

    Those arrests in my opinion should start With Jim Himes himself. He is on the intelligence committee and 535 people were wrongfully falsely arrested it appears. Epps was not Arrested. BLM activists were not arrested. 100 Have not been arraigned. Confidential Informants by the hundreds were in the crowd and instigated the breach of the gate. Himes used an informant and has oversight through the Intelligence Committee Hundreds of Americans were denied due process at his request, sitting next to Schiff.


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