Stavros Statement on Recent Capital Riots

This past week we saw an unprecedented assault on our democracy. The Capitol riots that took place last Wednesday will forever be a dark day in our Nation’s history.

Stavros is sadden by the events that unfolded. What started out as a protest against the election results, devolved into an all-out riot. As we saw the images of last Wednesday, we could not help but remember a peaceful protest in 2017 when activists with disabilities were arrested and carried out by the Capitol police. A peaceful protest to protect access to health care resulted in 50 arrests of people with disabilities most of whom used wheelchairs. Their only crime was to block the hallway in front of Senator Mitch McConnell. This past week hundreds of people stormed the Capitol, violently clashing with police resulting in deaths from both sides. Where do we go from here to unite our country, appreciate our differences, and give everyone the ability to be heard and seen?

As an organization that serves the disability community, we understand how hard it is to make sure our voices are heard. We understand that we must fight for justice and equality and we do this every day to ensure that the disability community is represented. In doing so, we make sure we leave our community better off than when we started. We make sure we listen to the voices and concerns of EVERYONE, regardless of their background, race, gender, orientation, disability or political view. We work to ensure that everyone is represented when it comes to issues pertaining to equal access and we do this by forming coalitions, engaging with the community, and ensuring everyone is included. The only way to heal and move forward is to communicate effectively with one another. We must have tough conversations and engage in dialogue with people who have opposing views to find common ground for the benefit of us all.

Stavros’ condemns the actions of the rioters at the Capitol. This is not the way to promote effective change, rather it only leads to further division, destruction and instability. Let us take this tragedy as a lesson and a moment to reflect on how we can ALL work to help form a more perfect union. Our country may be divided by the state we live in, the party we affiliate with or the social class we identify with. What unites us is our belief in democracy, in our institutions, in law and order and equality.

 

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