Three Harvard political organizations condemned the riots at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. and called on national political leaders to do the same in a joint statement Wednesday evening.
The Harvard College Democrats, the Harvard Republican Club, and the Harvard Undergraduates for Bipartisan Solutions all signed the statement.
A mob of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol Wednesday afternoon while Congress was counting electoral votes to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the November 2020 presidential election.
“Dissent is fundamental to democracy,” the statement reads. “But threatening the safety of members of Congress, journalists, staffers, Capitol employees, and all other bystanders is not dissent.”
“Representatives of the American people cannot be silent about the continuous attempts to discredit our electoral process. The words and actions of elected officials must reflect reality. After dozens of court cases and recounts, Congress must uphold its Constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 election,” the statement reads.
Jack A. White III ’23, the president of the Harvard Undergraduates for Bipartisan Solutions, said writing the statement was “a wonderful team effort” that gave the clubs the opportunity to collaborate, rather than focus on political differences.
“Everything that's going on right now, you can't really find anybody that agrees with it," White said. "I think it truly was the moment where we could bring this idea of, 'okay, where can we work together as campus parties, as opposed to opposing each other.'"
The Harvard Democrats also released an individual statement demanding Trump’s impeachment.
In the statement, the Democrats cited Trump’s failure to denounce the riots at the Capitol, claiming that he had “fully abandoned his oath of office.”
“The President of the United States has instigated and encouraged an insurrection that culminated with the occupation of the U.S. Capitol. Since he began his campaign for president, Donald Trump has spread violence-inducing misinformation and conspiracy theories, overreaching his authority to secure his position in power—no matter the cost to the American people and our democracy,” the statement reads. “It is now time for Republican elected officials to respond to President Trump’s subversion, and uphold their oaths to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
The Harvard Institute of Politics executive board also released a statement Wednesday evening, writing that the siege underscored “the urgent need to reimagine our civic life as student leaders.”
“The Institute of Politics is a virtual and physical space that strives to educate students on the importance of civic engagement, public service, and the role of political activism to better our world,” the statement reads. "We believe that now more than ever, the mission and the lessons we learn together could not be more applicable."
—Staff writer Alexandra N. Wilson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @alex_wilson2023.