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  • Writer's pictureBy Mar-Vic Cagurangan

Pacific Island leaders condemn violence in US Capitol

Pacific Island leaders condemned the violent acts of pro-Trump supporters, who stormed the U.S. Capitol Hill during a riot that killed four people Wednesday.

The mob attempted to stop the U.S. Congress from certifying Joe Biden's electoral college victory. Congress later resumed the disrupted proceedings, and declared Biden winner in the presidential elections.

“The sight of this was disturbing to all of us. But still, the American experiment has persevered. Order and safety is being restored at the Capitol, and the Congress is moving forward to certify the electoral college vote electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as our next President and Vice President,” Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said.

"At this moment of profound division, the need to unite as a community and as a nation is more urgent than ever. We need to come together and stand strong for the values we all share as people,” she added.

In the CNMI, Gov. Ralp Torres joined elected leaders from around the country in denouncing the violent protests.

“Just like many of us, I was disappointed and saddened to see our Nation’s senators and representatives threatened and law enforcement officials overwhelmed by this unprecedented act in our capital,” Torres said.

“The peaceful transfer of power is one of the hallmarks of our great republic. Today’s lawless and violent attempts to disrupt the certification of the Electoral College was an affront to our American democracy,” Torres added.

In the Federated States of Micronesia, President David Panuelo condemned the attack on democracy.

"We denounce the actions of President Trump and his supporters, which we recognize as undemocratic, violent, and entirely contrary to the spirit of American concepts of liberty," he said.

“U.S. President Trump’s actions, and the actions of his supporters, are now metaphorically attacking that reputation by literally assaulting America’s citadel of liberty, its Capitol,” Panuelo said.

“Our Micronesian democracy is based in large part on the American form of governance. Micronesians genuinely believe in democracy, and upholding democratic institutions, which we were taught by our American partners,” he added.

Henry Kyota, Palau's ambassador to the U.S., condemned the display of Palau's flag at the riot.

"I was deeply disappointed to see our flag carried by a rioter at the U.S. Capitol. This was outright wrong and absolutely unacceptable," Kyota said.

The Democratic Party of Guam said the protestors’ violent behavior “is not consistent with our Pacific Islander nor our American values. Even still, this is not a hopeless situation.”

"Although we hold dearly the right to free speech and to peaceful protest, the violence and disrespect for the Electoral College’s responsibility to certify the results of the election is totally unacceptable.”

The Republican Party of Guam also joined in condemning the fatal riot. "We stand for democracy, fair elections, and support the assembly of peaceful protests, but this does not include storming into the halls of Congress and creating fear and disruption, and must end immediately.”

Sen. James Moylan said: “The actions taking place in our nation’s capital are unacceptable, and those who have destroyed property or have hurt others in some physical capacity should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

"Their actions do not represent the principles of democracy or are symbolic of peaceful protests. Let us pray for those who were and continue to be in harm’s way so that they can safely get home to their families. This includes both those who work within the halls of Congress, as well as members of the U.S. capitol police.” Sen. Telena Cruz Nelson said: “This unprecedented attack on our democracy is unacceptable and despite the great frustrations we may feel, we must think before we act.

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