Fri | Feb 26, 2021

Hanna: We’d hate to see US descend into anarchy

Published:Thursday | January 7, 2021 | 12:31 AMEdmond Campbell/Senior Staff Reporter
US Capitol Police, with guns drawn, stand near a barricaded door as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the US Capitol yesterday in Washington.
US Capitol Police, with guns drawn, stand near a barricaded door as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the US Capitol yesterday in Washington.
Supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by U. Capitol Police officers outside the Capitol in Washington yesterday.
Supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by U. Capitol Police officers outside the Capitol in Washington yesterday.
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Opposition Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Lisa Hanna has said that for many who have followed United States politics for decades, yesterday’s development in Washington was disturbing on a number of fronts, particularly against the background of the “enviable democracy that they propose to the rest of the world”.

Supporters loyal to US President Donald Trump yesterday marched on Capitol Hill, the seat of the US government and home to the Senate and House of Representatives, disrupting a joint session of Congress to certify US President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the November 3, 2020, elections.

Yesterday, Biden described the mob-like siege of Capitol Hill as “democracy under unprecedented assault”.

Hanna said she hoped the matter would be resolved quickly without loss of human lives.

At least one person was confirmed dead up to press time.

“We would hate to see the United States of America descend into national civil anarchy,” Hanna said. “I think all of us around the world, if there is anything we have learnt certainly for the last couple of years, especially in 2020, is that our humanity connects all of us, and it is time to extend compassion to each other rather than use the things that divide us.”

While not responding directly to the question of whether US politics would become less acrimonious under a Biden presidency, Hanna said that from what she has observed about the president-elect, he is someone that deals with adversity very well.

Biden could bring people together

She also noted that Biden was the type of politician that would reach across the aisle to his political opponents to ensure that the systems of government and human relationships are safeguarded.

“His leadership will leave a mark that brings people together rather than divides them. That is my hope based on what I have seen.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith, in a comment on the issue on Twitter yesterday, said: “We note with deep concern today’s (yesterday’s) developments in Washington, D.C. We continue to follow the events and trust that there will be a prompt return to normalcy in this important neighbour and #democracy in the western hemisphere.”

The Organisation of American States (OAS) also condemned what it said was an attack against institutions in the United States by protesters who disavow the recent election results in that country.

The OAS argued that democracy has as its fundamental pillar the independence of the powers of the State, which must act completely free of pressure.

“The exercise of force and vandalism against the institution constitutes a serious attack against democratic functioning.

“We urge a return to much needed rationality and a conclusion of the electoral process in accordance with the constitution and the corresponding institutional procedures,” the regional body declared.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com