St. Louis labor leaders and good-government groups are coming together to demand U.S. Senator Josh Hawley’s resignation.
At the U.S. Capitol last week, Hawley fist-pumped the mob that shortly after stormed the building, putting members of Congress and Capitol staff at risk and injuring Capitol and D.C. metro police – including one officer who later died. And Hawley led the charge in the Senate to object to the counting of electoral votes, the motivation for the riot.
American Federation of Government Employees Local 2192 President Keena Smith said Missouri’s people deserve better, and their senator should be focusing on helping them — especially Black, Brown, and low-income residents — get through this health and economic crisis. “And instead of placing their energy and time and effort into something that will help the state of Missouri, you fist-pumped and caused destruction and encouraged more hate,” Smith said.
Some folks on Capitol Hill, led by Missouri’s freshman Congresswoman Cori Bush, are circulating a petition to investigate and expel members of Congress who instigated the storming of the Capitol. Since the riot last Wednesday, a poll from Quinnipiac found nearly 75% of registered voters said democracy is under threat, 81% said extremism is a big problem in this country, and more than half hold President Donald Trump responsible for last week’s events.
Smith said if it had been Black and Brown people storming the Capitol, the resulting clashes between rioters and the police would have been much more deadly. “When we dealt with the Ferguson stuff on ground zero, you know, we were faced with the National Guard, and we were faced with tear gas and dogs and all of this. And where was that?” She said. “So you can’t tell us that there is not a double standard, because we continue to watch it every day.”
St. Louis Labor Council President Pat White said Hawley’s actions show “what he’s about.” If he doesn’t resign or get removed, White hopes Missourians will vote him out. “There’s no reason that the state of Missouri can’t turn a seat around and get a guy out of there that is relying on a base that carries a Confederate flag, that beats up police officers on the steps of the Capitol,” White said.
The American Federation of Government Employees and the St. Louis Labor Council will be joined by the NAACP and Resist St. Louis, as well as local clergy members, at the rally today.