Massachusetts governor calls on Americans to condemn Capitol violence

Massachusetts News

BOSTON (WWLP) — Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is speaking out against the ongoing protest and violence at the US Capitol Wednesday. 

In a joint statement with Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Gov. Baker called on Americans from every corner to condemn the violence at the Capitol and for President Trump and his supporters to do the same.

“I join with Americans from every corner of the country to condemn the violence unfolding at the Capitol, and President Trump and his supporters must do the same immediately,” Gov. Baker stated. “The chaos now unfolding is the sad but predictable outcome of weeks of attacks, perpetrated by President Trump and his supporters against the democratic process that makes America the greatest nation on earth, and these baseless challenges to President-elect Biden’s victory must stop.” 

“The horrific violence unfolding at the Capitol is an attack on our democracy and should be condemned without qualification by President Trump and his supporters,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “It is time for all Americans to embrace a peaceful transition of power and move forward to heal our nation.”

Massachusetts lawmakers at the US Capitol including Rep. Richard Neal, Rep. Jim McGovern, and Congressman Seth Moulton tweeted they were safe and at secured locations as the situation unfolded.

The U.S. Capitol locked down Wednesday afternoon with lawmakers inside as violent clashes broke out between supporters of President Donald Trump and police.

An announcement was played inside the Capitol as lawmakers were meeting and expected to vote to affirm Joe Biden’s victory. Due to an “external security threat,” no one could enter or exit the Capitol complex, the recording said. Vice President Mike Pence has been evacuated safely.

Protesters tore down metal barricades at the bottom of the Capitol’s steps and were met by officers in riot gear. Some tried to push past the officers who held shields and officers could be seen firing pepper spray into the crowd to keep them back. Some in the crowd were shouting “traitors” as officers tried to keep them back.

The Massachusetts State Police said they continue to monitor developments related to protest activity at the Capitol as well as planned demonstrations in the state. “At this time, we are not aware of any expectation of violence in Massachusetts tonight…”

Full statement below:

The Massachusetts State Police continue to monitor developments related to protest activity in Washington D.C. as well as planned demonstrations in our state, and will be prepared to ensure that any protestors in our areas of jurisdiction are able to freely express their right to demonstrate provided they do so peacefully and with respect for the rights, safety, and property of others. At this time we are not aware of any expectation of violence in Massachusetts tonight; we continue to monitor developments and will be prepared for any contingencies.

Massachusetts State Police

The National Guard has been called in, and a citywide curfew is in effect from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. Thursday morning. Senators and members of congress were evacuated from each chamber, with congressional leadership taken to secure locations. 

Earlier Wednesday, before the capitol was locked down, president Trump spoke to his supporters saying that he will not concede the election. 

Back in Massachusetts, Wednesday was the first day of the new legislative session, which means that more elected officials were in the building than usual.

This started to become an issue once protests broke out in Washington. State Police began gathering in Boston and asking lawmakers to return home.

“Of course this could happen in Massachusetts, it could happen in any state Capitol it could happen in any public building in the country,” said Sen. Eric Lesser.

There was no threat to public safety in Boston. However, there have been several protests outside the statehouse in the past showing support for the president.

“The U.S. Capitol building was attacked by domestic terrorists in MAGA hats today. Their actions threaten lives and our democratic institutions. They were incited by their leader, the leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump. The dismay and disappointment of Republican “leaders” like Charlie Baker are wildly insufficient reactions to this attempted coup. Charlie Baker has the chance to be a leader in this moment. Governor Baker, call your friend Mike Pence and demand the 25th Amendment be invoked, otherwise spare us your faux outrage.  Anything short of that is a moral failure.”

Massachusetts Democratic Party

Most of them have been peaceful.

Lawmakers on Beacon Hill continue to condemn the violence in Washington and they send their prayers to the brave men and women in uniform that are guarding the Capitol.

The Massachusetts Statehouse has been the location of several pro-Trump protests in the past, forcing state and local police officers to guard the building. Wednesday, as dozens of elected officials took the oath of office, the threat to public safety became more apparent forcing police officers to ask elected officials to go home.

NEWS10’s sister station in Springfield caught up with a few of them on their way out. “With any side, you don’t want any violence, you always want a peaceful protest, make you point and articulate your view,” said Rep. Kelly Pease.

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