Defend Democracy! Denounce White Supremacy!

Amazon Watch Statement regarding the coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021

Amazon Watch

For more information, contact:

Ada Recinos at +1.510.473.7542 or ada@amazonwatch.org


At Amazon Watch, we are deeply disturbed by the violence that threatened democracy and the peaceful transfer of power in the United States of America yesterday. As an international human rights and environmental organization based in the U.S., Amazon Watch denounces the white supremacist violence and attempted coup at the United States Capitol, incited by the President and some of his supporters in Congress. We support calls for urgent and immediate action, including the removal of President Trump from office.

The attack on the Capitol Building was not a protest; it was an attempted coup. It was an act of domestic terrorism on full display for the world to see. It was an attack on democracy, free and fair elections, and, specifically, the voting rights of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) in the United States whose organizing and voting made history in 2020. Unfortunately, we are not surprised that a coup was attempted; U.S. foreign policy has supported and even manufactured many, including in Latin American countries within the Amazon.

The attack was a blatant display of white supremacy as Capitol Police allowed President Trump's supporters to enter the building, terrorize public servants, loot offices, and parade Confederate flags. The police response was in stark contrast to protests over the last few years calling for racial justice and the Movement for Black Lives, reminding us once again that the white supremacy upon which the United States was founded has deep roots and will continue to grow unless stopped.

Over the last 25 years, we have participated in and supported actions that faced violent repression from militarized law enforcement agencies operating in the interests of corporations, as seen at Standing Rock four years ago. The differential in law enforcement response is stark: Indigenous people and water protectors organizing nonviolently to defend life are met with brutal repression and criminalization, yet white supremacists were politely escorted out of the Capitol yesterday. If these individuals are not held to account, this is impunity.

We believe Donald Trump poses a clear and present danger to people in the United States and around the world and should be removed immediately. Amazon Watch supports the calls from members of Congress to hold the political enablers, including Donald Trump and congresspeople, accountable for the attempted insurrection. We support the impeachment resolution sponsored by Representative Ilhan Omar and co-led or co-sponsored by at least 60 other representatives. We also support the leadership of incoming Representative Cori Bush in her push to hold her colleagues accountable, having drafted a resolution to expel every member of Congress who incited violence at the Capitol through their attempts to overturn the election.

We must unite to protect free and fair elections and democracy – indispensable conditions for the ambitious action necessary to protect the Amazon rainforest, defend Indigenous rights and territories, and amplify calls for climate justice to truly confront the threats facing people and the planet.

"The violence that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, was deeply disturbing, shameful, and painful. It unveiled not only the deep roots of white supremacy and patriarchy that have divided the nation for centuries, but it also exposed the hypocrisy of the militarized police response to non-violent protest by activists and communities, particularly our Black, Indigenous and people of color relatives defending rights, lives, justice, our environment and climate. Those responsible for the attempted coup must be held accountable." Leila Salazar-López, Amazon Watch Executive Director

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