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Greek-American Leaders Criticize Capitol Riot, Call for Unity

Greek-American leaders capitol riot
US Capitol. Credit: Sdandsd/Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY-SA 4.0

Greek-American leaders expressed their disapproval of Wednesday’s demonstration and riot in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, asking for unity and calling for the violence and lawlessness to stop immediately.

“Let us pray for a united United States. Let us pray for peace and reconciliation,” the Greek Orthodox Archbishop if the Americas, Elpidophoros, Tweeted in response to the events, in which an enormous demonstration spilled over into the Capitol building, with people swarming past Capitol police and invading the House and Senate chambers and offices.

“We are a democracy, and adhering to the will of the people ensures ‘one Nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all’,” the Archbishop added.

Rep. John Sarbanes, (D) Maryland, posted on Twitter “Today’s rhetoric from President Trump and the violent actions of his supporters struck at the heart of our democracy. I am safe. The Capitol is now secure. My colleagues and I will continue to carry out our Constitutional duties and finish counting the Electoral College votes.”

There was broad agreement across the aisle regarding the swarming of the Capitol building, which took place just as the electoral votes were being officially counted and recorded — with Vice President Mike Pence at the Senate rostrum.

Newly-elected Republican Representative from New York Nicole Malliotakis, who represents Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, let her constituents know that she was safe during the bizarre events as they were unfolding. “My staff and I are safe and have been brought to a secure location by the Capitol Police. Everyone who is responsible for this violence and lawlessness must stop. This is absolutely unacceptable and un-American.”

She later Tweeted a followup message, saying “Thank you to the @CapitolPolice and all law enforcement for all they are doing to restore order at the Capitol and to keep us safe. I condemn in the strongest terms those who are participating in violence and lawlessness. They must be arrested and prosecuted!”

“Not who we are as Americans”

On Thursday morning, the newly-minted Representative was interviewed by Fox News, when she further condemned the rioters’ actions.

Democratic Representative Dina Titus, from Nevada, tweeted her response to the events of the afternoon, saying: “As I shelter in place, lawless domestic terrorists encouraged by the President of the United States are attempting to destroy our democracy. They will not succeed.”

Representative Chris Pappas, a Democrat from New Hampshire, told his constituents that he was able to evacuate the building, adding that he “was told by Capitol police outside to get as far away from the complex as I safely could. The atmosphere outside the Capitol is highly, highly charged, and we all know exactly why. I hope to get back as soon as I can to confirm the election results.”

“Don’t forget their names”

New York State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris struck an ominous tone by warning  “Every single Senator and member of Congress objecting to the election results is encouraging this behavior. Don’t forget their names.”

New York City Council Member Costa Constantinides also Tweeted, referring to President Trump: “Law and order when it suits him. This is a national disgrace that we cannot have a peaceful transfer of power. Shame on those who enable this nonsense.”

Endy Zemenides, the Executive Director of the Hellenic American Leadership Council, posted: “What we are witnessing is not “America First” – it is decidedly un American.

“George Washington gave up the Presidency after two terms, John Adams peacefully transitioned to Thomas Jefferson after the most bitter of elections. Al Gore accepted a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling.”

Greek-American Bilirakis calls rioters’ behavior “unacceptable”

Longtime Florida Republican Congressman Gus Bilirakis, who had earlier on Wednesday announced that he had been diagnosed with Covid-19 and was in quarantine, also sounded the alarm as the events were unfolding.

He later sent an update, saying that some of the actions of the massive crowd were not indicative of a peaceful demonstration.

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