Rep. Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenBiden pledges to support Texas amid winter storm recovery Biden focuses on winter storm with trip to Texas LIVE COVERAGE: Senate opens second Trump impeachment MORE (D-Texas) is sending a message to QAnon and threats from right-wing extremists as they sat on the steps of the Capitol on Thursday, the date authorities warned that militia groups were potentially planning another violation of the building.
“I want to make a statement so that people know, those who would threaten those of us who cherish this freedom that we have here, that we refuse to allow those threats to deny our freedom,” he told The Hill.
Capitol Police and the FBI warned that militia groups involved in the deadly uprising on Capitol Hill on January 6, when a group of Trump supporters tried to disrupt the Electoral College’s certification of votes, had drawn up plans for a second attack on March 4.
Some conspiracy theorists have spread the idea that the ancients President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse Passes Election and Voting Rights Reform Bill DEA Plays Agent Seen Outside Capitol During Absent Riot Georgia Gov. Kemp Says He Would “ Absolutely ” Support Trump As Nominee In 2024 PLUS it will be inaugurated on that date, despite losing the presidential elections in November.
Green’s decision to protest peacefully comes after Congress canceled the voting on Thursday. House Democrats accelerated passage of a police reform bill Wednesday night due to news of credible threats that emerged.
“I love my country and I believe that freedom is not free,” he tweeted. “Others have made great sacrifices for the freedoms I enjoy. I refuse to hand over our nation’s Capitol to those who would restrict my freedom. Therefore, as a matter of personal principle, I will be at the Capitol complex today.”
I love my country and I believe that freedom is not free. Others have made great sacrifices for the freedoms I enjoy. I refuse to hand over our nation’s Capitol to those who would limit my freedom. Therefore, as a matter of personal principle, I will be at the Capitol complex today.
– Congressman Al Green (@RepAlGreen) March 4, 2021
Green said he felt he needed to take a stand against the protesters to send a message that their antics would not disrupt democracy, adding that people have lost their lives fighting for freedom in the United States and need to be protected.
“I want to send a message to those who would limit our rights – I want to let them know that I refuse to allow them to prevent me from enjoying this freedom that I have, that I will not give up the freedom that I have. This means a lot to me, just sitting here and I’ve talked to several officers who have passed, I see the fence with the barbed wire on top, there are troops all over the perimeter, ”he told The Hill, pointing to the increase of security precautions since the January 6 attack.
The Texas Democrat said he has seen the impact of discrimination and does not want the country to back down, arguing that the former president’s rhetoric has increased the country’s division.
“If you tolerate hate, you perpetuate it; anyone who tolerates hate perpetuates it,” he said. “If people penetrate it, it doesn’t go back under a rock.”
Lawmakers continue to grapple with how best to increase security after the January 6 attack, and Congress is expected to continue investigating how the building breach occurred.
The Capitol Police have requested that the National Guard presence on the Capitol campus be extended for two more months amid ongoing security concerns.