Capitol Chaos

After yesterday’s events, business and association leaders release statements

Yesterday marked a day of civil crisis in American history. Supporters of outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump protested the electoral college certification of the 2020 election results and rioted in Washington, ultimately leading to the first breach of the Capitol building since 1814. That instance, for perspective, was during a war on American soil (the British partially burned the original structure during the War of 1812; its trademark dome was restored by the end of the Civil War) and perpetrated by enemy combatants.

A number of prominent business leaders—Apple’s Tim Cook, Microsoft president Brad Smith, and other tech moguls—specifically condemned the violence.

NAM (National Associaton of Manufacturers) even called for the 25th Amendment (which contains a clause of presidential succession and disability) to remove the sitting President from office. In a statement from its CEO Jay Timmons, a former Republican political operative himself, the organization contended that anyone involved or supportive of yesterday’s events was “violating their oath to the Constitution and rejecting democracy”, as well as labeling the act(s) as seditious. With most of the other early rebukes coming from tech leaders, Timmons’ words were seen as especially profound. As explained by one non-manufacturing executive on Twitter, it is no small statement:

Others to speak out against the actions of rioters yesterday included Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Ford CEO Jim Farley, Google’s Sundar Pichai, Visa CEO Alfred Kelly, and JPMorganChase CEO Jamie Dimon. It is noteworthy that others in the tech world criticized Facebook and Twitter leaders for allowing disinformation on the site to perhaps stoke and incite the violence in the first place:

Notably, a number of big brands asked that their advertising be paused during the day-long news cycle covering the events as they unfolded on many major news channels. Other organizations to publicly state their condemnation of yesterday’s events include the ABA (American Bar Association) and the MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association), as well as others more familiar to those in the trades, such as the AFL-CIO and United Autoworkers, International Wood Products Association and National Retail Federation. More organizational heads are releasing statements today.

IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) International President Lonnie R. Stephenson also issued a statement:

“Today’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by violent extremists represents a direct assault on our democratic system. Blame for this horrific event lies directly on the shoulders of President Trump and his enablers in Congress, who have deliberately spread disinformation about the validity of the 2020 election, threatened our constitutional system by disregarding the will of America’s voters and promoted an atmosphere of violence that led to what happened today. ”

While still highly influential, it should be noted that IBEW has already made its political allegiances well known, supporting and campaigning for Joe Biden during 2020.

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