Category Archives: Coup

Benicia Candlelight Vigil on Anniversary of January 6 Insurrection

Photo: Roger Straw, The Benicia Independent

Reflecting on our fragile democracy

By Co-Organizer Terry Scott

Despite short notice. Despite terrible wet, cold conditions. More than 50 hardy citizens joined together Thursday evening as a community to take pause and reflect on how fragile our democracy is and how we must continue to proudly use our voice to reflect our opinions.

As I switched on the microphone, I took a quick look out at the gathering and saw a sea of serious faces lit by candlelight. I immediately felt a wave of emotion that made me proud to be part of a community that is willing to brave the elements to show unity in purpose and a willingness to have their voices heard—part of the very foundation of what our democracy stands for.

I made a few opening comments which I strongly believe to be true. I believe the most salient comments suggested that we are in the midst of a culture war for the soul of America.

Red Vs. Blue. Mask Vs. No Mask. Vax vs anti-vax, etc. I suggested we must transcend beyond the cultural media battlefield.  We must remember that we may disagree on many things, yet we need to remember to agree that we are all part of the fabric of one nation.

I turned the microphone over to Benicia’s Poet Laureate Mary Susan Gast who read four very powerful poems. One in particular still echoes in my mind. It is titled On the day after the Insurrection, by former Benicia Poet Laureate Johanna Ely.  The final three lines struck me soundly:

As I cry for my ravaged country,
how exquisitely the landscape blurs,
my eyes weeping water and light.

How poignant. How timely.

Following the poetry readings, I asked if anyone wished to speak. Former Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson and our Solano County Supervisor Monica Brown both spoke with emotion and yet with clear purpose of what can happen to our democracy if we do not continue to be aware, educated and ready to fight for our democracy. With each speaker came a new perspective on the impact of the January 6 Insurrection and how we must be united in purpose as we move forward.

Each speaker adding an additional emotional layer on top of the speaker before. It was so genuine. So energizing. But also a bit scary that we are sincerely discussing the possibility of losing the precious gift of democracy.

As the event ended, I could see groups of four and five people sharing comments and observations. I heard a group of folks singing behind me like a subtle sound track for the closing moments.

Clearly those who came out did not want to stop sharing this moment. It was a heartfelt expression of a community bonding together.

Terry Scott

Rep. Mike Thompson: ‘Trump an enemy of the state’ following ‘armed insurgence, treasonous effort to topple our government’

Congressman Thompson: ‘Trump an enemy of the state’

Hopes 25th Amendment, impeachment ousts president

Vallejo Times Herald, by Richard Freedman, January 7, 2021 UPDATED: 6:24 p.m.

With 24 hours to take a breath, U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson hasn’t wavered. He wants Donald Trump ousted, no matter that the one-term president’s time expires at noon, Jan. 20.

After Wednesday’s siege by an unruly mob at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., the congressman Tweeted that he’s “calling on the Vice President to initiate proceedings under the 25th Amendment to gather the Cabinet and remove the President from office. On this dark day for our nation, we need to stand up and end this immediately. Nothing less than the future of our democracy is at stake.”

In a 20-minute phone interview Thursday afternoon, Thompson reiterated that he “absolutely” wants Trump’s reign finished immediately.

“We need to do whatever we can to remove him from this position of power,” Thompson said. “In addition to that, he needs to be impeached for a second time. The articles of impeachment have been drafted and I’ve signed onto that effort. I believe it should be done as quickly as possible.”

There’s no waiting out Trump’s term, Thompson emphasized.

“You saw how much damage he did yesterday — one day. I’m frightened to think about what else he could do,” Thompson said.

Rep. Mike Thompson. (Rich Freedman–Times-Herald)

Trump “is completely off the rails. He’s become an enemy of the state,” said Thompson, believing the president incited the rioters to seize the Capitol building “to try and prevent a peaceful transition of power” to President-elect Joe Biden.

“He set up a coup attempt yesterday (Wednesday), trying to encourage the vice president to steal this election,” Thompson said, calling the siege aftermath “a sad, sad day in this country.”

Trump “encouraged people to break the law, take up laws against their own country and march to the Capitol and stop the peaceful transition. He asked them to march with him, but when they started marching, he went back to the White House,” said Thompson. “That speaks volumes to what kind of person he is.”

Explaining the lack of law enforcement to help thwart the Capitol siege “is the $64 million question,” said Thompson, adding that he sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “asking to do a top-to-bottom review to find out what went wrong and that we ensure it never goes wrong again.”

Thompson said he also sent Pelosi a text Wednesday night requesting the head of the Capitol State Police be terminated.

“Folks that run security should be fired by morning,” Thompson said. “Whomever was in charge not only put our institution of representative government at risk, but put at risk of the lives of every person in that Capitol building, every staff person, every member of the House, every janitor. And they put the life of every cop at risk by putting them out there ill-prepared to do the job they were asked to do.”

Thompson said he was safely in his office when the mob entered the Capitol, though he was evacuated once when “some kind of explosive device” was located and a second time when shots were fired.

“When hooligans broke through security, I was over in the library,” Thompson, managing to quip, “I don’t think they could find a library with a GPS.”

Seriously, added Thompson, “they need to arrest every one” of the infiltrators “and try them for treason.”

“They call themselves ‘patriots’ but they are really traitors,” Thompson said.

Four people died during the siege, including one woman by gunfire.

“I think the president bears full responsibility for what happened,” Thompson said. “He did this. He did this whole thing. He convinced people to participate in a coup. That’s why he needs to be impeached.”

Thompson said Trump will “definitely be impeached by the House, I’m sure of that. I hope the Senate drums up some courage since they didn’t last time.”

Thompson sees a window of opportunity.

“The dam is starting to break. Some Republicans are calling for his removal. I move to convict him,” Thompson said.

Though 9/11 and school shootings “were terrible, this is in a different league,” Thompson said. “It’s armed insurgence with a treasonous effort to topple our government. It’s an attack on the institution, an attack on democracy, an attack on our republic.”

Almost lost in the scuffle — Democrats flipped the Senate earlier this week, thanks to Georgia, with Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff emerging with run-off wins.

“That’s a shining light in all of this,” Thompson said, reflecting on 500-plus bipartisan bills languishing on Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s desk.

With McConnell on the verge of becoming Senate minority leader and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the tie-breaker in a potential 50-Democrat, 50-Republican vote, “it’s now a different story,” said Thompson, awaiting the Inauguration Jan. 20.

“Everybody I know — Democrats, Republicans, Independents — don’t want a revolution. They want a return to normalcy,” Thompson said. “It’ll be a much better world.”

January 6 Attempted COUP – Where Now?