Gov. Ige Issues Statement Amid News of Protestors Storming of the US Capitol
Congressional leaders from Hawaiʻi have been checking in via social media to update the public on their safety amid a storming of the US Capitol and demonstration by crowds of protesters. All four members have since said they are safe amid the ongoing incident.
The scene comes 14 days ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden and as a joint session of congress was underway.
Hawaiʻi Governor David Ige has issued a statement saying, “The news that protestors have stormed the US Capitol is extremely distressing. It is an assault on democracy and everything this country stands for. The vote certification process and peaceful transition of power must be completed as required by the United States Constitution, following a free and fair election. In Hawai‘i, State Sheriffs -Department of Public Safety, are working with the Honolulu Police Department to protect the Hawai‘i State Capitol if necessary.”
Gov. Ige also addressed the unfolding situation during a Facebook LIVE media briefing at 12:30 p.m. The video briefing is available for viewing here.
Gov. Ige called the events today “shocking” and “appalling.”
“Certainly, we have been proactive in planning for these kinds of activities,” said Gov. Ige. “I did learn and we always do try to reach out to protest organizers, trying to explain that we recognize their constitutional right and we also are committed to peaceful activity. Iv’e found in the past that having that engagement and dialogue–trying to have both sides understand what each responsibility is, has often avoided any kind of violent confrontation or civil disobedience that’s occurring at the US Capitol.”
Shortly before 10:30 a.m. HST, newly sworn-in US Representative Kai Kahele of Hawai‘i Tweeted that he and his family are safe and away from the US Capitol and congressional complex.
About a half hour later, US Senator Mazie Hirono Tweeted a similar message thanking those who expressed concern saying, “I want to let you all know that I’m safe. I implore the President to tell his supporters to stand down for everyone’s safety and let Congress do our job today.”
US Senator Brian Schatz has since emailed a statement saying:
“My staff and I are safe and following the guidance of US Capitol Police. We thank everyone for their expressions of aloha and concern. The attack on the Capitol and our democracy is despicable, but it will not stop us from completing our constitutional duties and affirming the results of the presidential election.”
US Rep. Ed Case also has since indicated that he and his staff are safe and called the events “a truly dark moment for our country.”
“The events that have unfolded in Washington D.C. is not only alarming, but it undermines our country’s democratic values and the integrity of our election processes. Every citizen has a fundamental right to peacefully gather and protest, but the violent breach of our nation’s capital is inexcusable. Here at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol, State Sheriffs are working diligently with local law enforcement to ensure the safety of our staff and the dozens of demonstrators that have gathered to exercise their constitutional right to assemble and express free speech.”
US President Elect Joe Biden spoke in a live broadcast amid the violence calling on President Trump to take action by demanding an end to the violence. “Let me be very clear: the scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not represent who we are. What we are seeing is a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent, it’s disorder. It borders on sedition, and it must end. Now.”
At 11: 17 a.m., US President Donald Trump made a video address from outside in which he asked demonstrators to go home, but also made claims of election fraud. The Tweet was flagged on the platform with a message: “The claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet cannot be replied to retweeted or liked due to a risk of violence.” The video was then removed.
US President Donald Trump Tweeted about an hour earlier at 10:13 a.m. asking for those at at the US Capitol to remain peaceful. “No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue.”
When asked if there’s any message he’d like to share with the people of Hawaiʻi to prevent what has unfolded at the nation’s Capitol, Gov. Ige said, “I am proud of the people of Hawaiʻi because they do understand how important it is for all of us to exercise our constitutional right to share their beliefs and their positions on a wide range of very controversial issues. Over the last year, we had massive protests here in the islands, but it never resulted in violence or the chaos that we’re seeing or we have seen across the country over the last several months.”
Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English (District 7 – Hāna, East and Upcountry Maui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi and Kahoʻolawe) released the following statement regarding what he called an “insurrection” in Washington, D.C.:
“The scenes that have occurred today at the United States Capitol raise serious concerns over the integrity of democracy in our nation. The reckless behavior of those who have ensued violence is unacceptable. We value our democracy and will not let it be destroyed.
State Sheriffs and local law enforcement are working together here at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol to protect the safety of everyone.”
Further comments from government leaders continue to filter in as the situation evolves.
Joint Statement of Hawaiʻi Republican Party and Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi on the Ongoing Situation at the US Capitol
Shirlene Ostrov, Chair of the Hawaiʻi Republican Party, and Tyler Dos Santos-Tam, Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi, issued this statement today regarding the ongoing situation at the U.S. Capitol:
“Violence, vandalism, intimidation, and mob rule have no place in our republic. We strongly denounce today’s storming of the U.S. Capitol, and call upon the protestors to stand down. We pray for a safe resolution and hope that aloha will prevail.
The Constitution guarantees the right to peaceful protest, and also spells out how the electoral process is to be carried out. With respect to both of these, the Constitution must be upheld and respected.
As the people and citizens of Hawaiʻi, we are friends, neighbors, and family. Regardless of politics or party, there is more that unites us than divides us. We are one country, united under a common law. While we may have passionate debates and disagreements, violent lawlessness has no role in our political process.
Many of us on both sides of the aisle may be feeling fear or anger today – it is so much more important than ever to remember what joins us together and show our aloha for one another.”