On Wednesday January 6th Democrats woke up to the great news that the Georgia senate runoff election results were showing decisive wins for Democrats Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. Your Bookcharmer sailed off to a day in the library branch, lunch packed, gloved and masked up, but a bounce in my step that such a crucial election, one that will flip the majority leadership of the Senate, was looking to be a definitive Democrat win.
Days in the branch, are busy, to be sure. It is a great thing to be beloved by your community, but that means you better be ready to hustle for them. You might be surprised to know that in my "high tech" community, many of our patrons still need to use a telephone to place holds and schedule appointments to pick them up. Indeed, not everything is online. Or maybe a patron is quite tech savvy, but needs someone to walk him through resetting a password on a database that is less than user friendly. Then hurry and make some picture book bundles, participate in an online meeting, fulfill a research request...so a day in the branch is going to be a lot of tasks that don't provide a lot of time for following breaking news. Maybe that's a blessing.
The events of January 6 2021 when a horde of violent protestors attacked the Capitol will take a long time to unspiral--a bare bones timeline appears at present on the NPR website: https://www.npr.org/2021/01/15/956842958/what-we-know-so-far-a-timeline-of-security-at-the-capitol-on-january-6
It doesn't get into the threats against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi or the insulting acts committed on the physical building. The article points out the lack of advance planning/protection on the day when the election was being certified. More will come in following days, but it is obvious from news coverage that the outgoing president incited this mob and it is possible that the damage to the Capitol and the threats against Democratic congresspeople, and, of all ironies, the Republican Vice President, were quite real and nearly realized.
There is so much to try to process and understand and take in...while not letting this last stab at the heart of Democracy by the evil that is the outgoing Party takeover the joy in the reality that our country will have a Democratic president in less than 48 hours as I type this, and its first woman as a Vice President.
I'm mostly writing this post just to document my own level of shock and more shock that the building where our government functions was the target of people that want to destroy it. Their arguments? Specious and ludicrous. Their methods? Tragic and base. The racist act of carrying a flag of a failed state into the Capitol.
The mirror held up on January 6 also showed the truth about all the protests this summer in support of Black Lives Matter, when protestors all over the country were subjected to police violence while peacefully protesting https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/08/usa-law-enforcement-violated-black-lives-matter-protesters-human-rights/
And as our country seems to keep forgetting, we are in the middle of a FUCKING PANDEMIC that has taken the lives of almost 400,000 people in the U.S. alone. The latest news for the US and the world is being tracked by Johns Hopkins University https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
And the protestors? No masks. Horns and MAGA hats, sure. But no masks. And some of them had come from different parts of the country, turning their hate fueled trek into a super spreader event.
I'm sorry just to throw links at you--I'm still trying to figure out what to focus on, and trying to balance this latest event with all the events of the past year, like the House impeaching Trump in December 2019 and the Senate acquitted him in early February of 2020.
I write to you from the West coast of the country, aka the Left Coast. I write in the concluding hours of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
I don't know how much I will sleep between now and when Biden/Harris are inaugurated and Warnock and Ossoff are sworn in to office. In these next 48 hours though, I know I will be trying to make some art, do some reading, go to work, and think about what needs to remembered about these Wednesdays in January.