Search form


Share this post

Back to main

Attempted Coup Illustrates Need For D.C. Statehood


January 8, 2021
 Emily Phelps |


Washington, DC —Today, Meagan Hatcher-Mays, Director of Democracy Policy for Indivisible, issued the following statement:

“Yesterday’s violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building here in the District of Columbia was the inevitable culmination of Donald Trump’s shameful presidency, a shocking yet unsurprising consequence of Trump’s years of racist and deadly rhetoric and behavior.

“But it also laid bare a different injustice: the lack of statehood in the District of Columbia, the nation’s capital, which was held hostage by the actions of Trump supporters who overtook the Capitol. In the face of a white supremacist mob, some of them armed, the District’s leadership stood powerless to stop the violence.

“It wasn’t due to lack of trying. In fact, D.C.’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, tried to call up the District of Columbia’s National Guard. But because D.C. is not a state, the mayor does not have the authority to call up the Guard on her own. She can only ask the executive branch for permission. And Donald Trump, for hours, refused to approve Bowser’s request, despite the fact that Trump had no problem sending in the National Guard, military forces, and federal law enforcement into the District last summer to aggressively suppress peaceful protests in support of Black Lives Matter. Yesterday, though, with Congress under attack, Trump refused to send help, allowing the mob to advance deeper into the Capitol, with some breaching the Senate floor and congressional offices.

“Yesterday’s breach should never have happened, but especially not when you consider the history of the District itself. Conservative opponents regularly trot out the same justification for denying statehood to D.C.: because, after being held hostage in the Philadelphia capitol building by furious Revolutionary War soldiers who hadn’t yet been paid, the Founders wanted a federal district that was wholly under federal control, specifically to protect legislators from mob violence. That justification fell away yesterday when, ironically, it was the leaders of the disenfranchised federal district who rose to the occasion and tried to stop the violence.”


# # #


The Indivisible Project (501c4) is a social movement non-profit driven by a vision of a real democracy - of, by, and for the people. Indivisible began in 2016 as a viral guide to resisting Trump’s agenda. Today, the Indivisible movement is a network of thousands of local groups and millions of activists across every state. The Indivisible Project drives campaigns for bold progressive policies, lobbies Congress, and equips activists with tools to build lasting progressive power, everywhere. Together, we fight to defeat the rightwing takeover of American government and build an inclusive democracy.