Friday, February 5, 2021

Austin Council Denounces Violent Extremism at U.S. Capitol

For immediate release: Feb. 4, 2021
April Brown, Office of Council Member Alison Alter, (972) 955-0930

Austin City Council Denounces Violent Extremism at U.S. Capitol 

The Austin City Council today unanimously approved a resolution sponsored by Council Member Alison Alter denouncing the Jan. 6, 2021, acts of domestic terrorism at the United States Capitol.

The attacks resulted in the deaths of five people, dozens of injuries, still unknown costs for repairs, and the evacuation of hundreds of public servants from congressional chambers and offices for their safety. Council Member Alter was joined by her co-sponsors, Mayor Steve Adler, Council Member Kathie Tovo, Council Member Vanessa Fuentes, and Council Member Leslie Pool.
"We cannot be silent in the face of violence and intimidation, and we cannot allow our children to think these acts are normal and happen without consequence," said Council Member Alison Alter. "Too many times in history we have seen the dark realities of hatred and extremism left unchecked. It is our responsibility as community leaders to demonstrate that violent extremism and domestic terrorism will not be tolerated." 
The Council resolution was authored in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and mirrors language adopted by legislative bodies across the country. The resolution affirms that the Austin City Council, "denounces extremist conspiracy theories, misinformation, and disinformation that cultivate an alienated and mistrustful electorate, undermine democratic institutions and processes, and increase the likelihood of violence" as well as "anti-government extremism, white supremacy, racism, antisemitism, misogyny, Islamophobia, anti-LGBTQ+ hate, ableism, ageism and all hateful speech."
"We are so pleased that the Austin City Council is showing the importance of leadership by using their voices to establish norms and build consensus around our shared values," said Renee Lafair, ADL Austin Regional Director. "Not only does the resolution condemn violent extremism, but it also asserts that bias and bigotry will not be tolerated in our communities. What leaders say matters."

Each of the resolution's co-sponsors weighed in on the importance of taking a stand against extremism and violence.
"Our democracy is sacred, and not a given," said Mayor Adler. "As both elected representatives and members of our great nation, it is our duty to protect our democratic institutions. Violent extremism and democracy cannot exist together. I'm proud to stand with my colleagues and this city in continuing our work toward a more perfect union."
"This unprecedented attack on American democracy challenges us all to stand up to hatred and bigotry in our communities," stated Council Member Tovo. "We must resoundingly reject these violent acts, hold perpetrators accountable, and move forward together, through our shared grief and loss, toward building a stronger union."
Council Member Fuentes added, "I am proud to join my colleagues today, along with the Anti-Defamation League, in denouncing acts of hate and extremism against our communities. Unfortunately, most times acts of violence and domestic terrorism are aimed at marginalized communities which is why I believe it is important to stand together with our leaders to challenge racism, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric."
"We spent the last four years barraged by increasingly extremist voices growing across our nation," Council Member Pool said. "We must respond with equal passion in our principles, and stand together as a community to safeguard our democracy against acts of domestic terrorism, hatred, and bigotry."

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