The following public statement was released by the UBC on January 8, 2021.
Washington, D.C. – Throughout the 140-year history of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America we have used peaceful protests as a tool to achieve greater dignity and a higher standard of living for all carpenters. What we saw in our nation’s capital on Wednesday was not that.
We condemn, unequivocally and as strongly as possible, those who attempted to subvert our democratic system of government by disrupting the important work of our elected leaders. Those who attempted to delay the certification of the election of President-elect Joe Biden by storming and vandalizing the Capitol building are only worthy of the scorn and contempt of their fellow citizens. These are in no way patriots. These are in no way special people. They are lawless thugs and nothing more.
Fortunately, enough leaders stood up and took action. We appreciate the members of Congress who resumed their work, undaunted, once order was restored. And we applaud the members of the law enforcement community who restored it.
While we salute the men and women in uniform for their service, we nonetheless have to recognize the inadequacy of the preparation and the inequity that was once again made plain by the police response to this crisis.
Recent history has shown us that it would have been dramatically different had that crowd been a diverse group demonstrating against police brutality or for immigrant rights. It seems likely that had the crowd been filled with union activists– men and women from a wide variety of backgrounds representative of our great union’s membership–the police response would have been swift, overwhelming and violent. Both of these scenarios are chilling to contemplate and unacceptable.
Seeing the symbol of our democracy attacked by a mob for hours with almost no response was just as disturbing—especially as the riot resulted in the loss of life, including of a member of the police.
On Wednesday, President-elect Joe Biden said, “For nearly two and a half centuries, we the people, in search of a more perfect union, have kept our eyes on that common good. America is so much better than what we’ve seen today.”
As we move toward inauguration day, Joe Biden continues to demonstrate what real leadership looks like, that words matter and that those who stand for public office must also stand by the oath of that office if they are elected.
We will not forget what happened, nor will we forget those whose action, or inaction, led to such a disgraceful event. To those who directly provoked this insurrection or who, through propagating political lies and conspiracies for their own political gain helped lay the groundwork for it, we say that history will judge you, and we will remember you if you ever again run for office.