RAN has long stood for the right to protest. But what we have seen in many years of righteous protest was very different to what we observed yesterday in our nation’s capital.

By Rainforest Action Network

Yesterday was not a protest: it was a violent insurrection. It was an attempted coup and domestic terrorism.

And yet, the police response to yesterday’s attack on the seat of our government was not only an absence of response but an active welcome of an angry white mob into our Capitol. Self-proclaimed nazis and white supremacists openly broadcast their intentions ahead of time and live-streamed their participation in seditious acts, yet remain unarrested.

To say that this is a stark contrast to the treatment of Black Lives Matter protesters this summer, Indigenous protesters at Standing Rock and Line 3, and many other movements across the country fighting for their lives, and rights, is an understatement.

This is why there is no climate justice without racial justice.

Because this is how Indigenous communities were treated fighting to protect their land:

And here is how youth activists asking not to be shot in schools were treated:

Because the difference between the treatment of Black lives Matter protests and yesterday’s seditious mob couldn’t be a greater contrast and the only possible reason for the difference is racism:

Because disabled activists asking for health care rights were physically removed and arrested by Capitol police:

Because 600 women were arrested in the Senate Building for a non-violent sit-in protesting family separation.

Because, apparently, even Jane Fonda is considered a greater threat than an angry mob of white supremacists:

Washington DC has the largest police presence in the world, with billions of dollars allocated every year to police and military forces, but an assault on our very democracy received no response for over 6 hours, despite days and weeks of notification in advance. 

There were just 13 initial arrests within the first few hours. That number grew to only 52 of which only 26 were on Capitol grounds. 

In fact, the people actively participating in this domestic terrorism were allowed to freely leave the building (as they laughed about getting beers and returning with more violence), including the people who occupied the Senate chamber and the guy who ransacked Speaker Pelosi’s office

Cops stood as the insurrectionists posed for selfies with them.

Yet, everyday people exercising their first amendment rights to protest and free speech have been arrested for asking nothing more than not to be shot because of the color of their skin.

THIS is why we demand to #DefundPolice and invest in our communities instead. This is why there is no climate justice without racial justice.