Mesa County reacts to Capitol breach
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - The fallout from Wednesday’s chaos at the Capitol building continued into Thursday, including throughout the Grand Valley.
Wednesday’s demonstration in Washington D.C. ended in hundreds of people storming the Capitol, forcing Congress members and government officials to evacuate the building. Other protests were held throughout the country, including at the Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction. However, the largest rally came in Washington D.C., and it got out of control just as Congress was set to confirm Joe Biden as president-elect inside the Capitol building.
The chaos resulted in four deaths, more than 50 arrests, and the discovery of two pipe bombs. Many Democrats, and even some Republican leaders, called for President Donald Trump to be held responsible for Wednesday’s events. More than anything, people across Mesa County see the Capitol breach as yet another example why American citizens should aim for unity, rather than division.
“We’ve got to work together,” says Scott Beilfuss, Vice Chair of the Mesa County Democrats. “One side or the other can’t have it their way all the time...we need to find common ground on some big issues.”
The Mesa County Republican Party also issued a statement on Thursday, saying in part: “The Mesa County Republican Party condemns the action of a minority of protesters who turned a peaceful protest into the display we saw at the US Capitol.” They also called on Democrats to condemn violence when it comes from their side, and referenced Wednesday’s protest in downtown Grand Junction as an example of peaceful demonstration. They did not address President Trump’s role in the Capitol breach.
Some people in Mesa County see the Capitol breach as a reminder of democratic principles.
“I’m hopeful that we can take this as an opportunity as a nation,” says Nick Mayle, a Grand Junction resident. “In an election, we have winners and losers, and you have to accept the consequences...[this] is what can happen when we don’t adhere to our democratic principles.”
Lawmakers did ultimately resume proceedings late Wednesday night, officially certifyinig Joe Biden’s election victory in the early hours of Thursday morning.
The two pipe bombs found in Washington D.C. were safely detonated by police –– one of which was found inside the Capitol building. The other had been placed outside the Republican National Committee headquarters.
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