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Central, northern NY Congress members condemn attack on US Capitol

Don Sniegowski

Congressional representatives from central, northern New York and the Finger Lakes region are all condemning the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) called it shameful, completely unacceptable and said it endangered the lives of law enforcement and others.

Read his full statement below.

“I am grateful to all of those who have reached out regarding my safety today. The support and concern expressed is humbling. I am in a safe location. The attack on the U.S. Capitol is shameful and completely unacceptable. It has endangered the lives of our law enforcement and countless others. This is anything but a peaceful protest. The violence must stop immediately. President Trump must take a more forceful stand to end this, now. I am praying for a peaceful conclusion. We are a strong country. We will recover from this and we certainly must learn from it.”

Anthony Brindisi, the Mohawk Valley Democratic congressman who is in the midst of a close race to hold onto his seat, texted with Katko yesterday to make sure he was okay. Speaking from his home in Utica, Brindisi called the attack disgusting.

“This is nothing less than a violent insurrection by domestic terrorists who are trying to disrupt the peaceful transition of power in our nation,” Brindisi said.

He said it can’t happen again.

“Anyone who enables the president’s claims that there was somehow widespread voter fraud, need to consider what’s more important: their allegiance to the president or to our democracy,” Brindisi said.

North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) called the actions un-American.

Read her statement below.

“I fully condemn the dangerous violence and destruction of the Capitol grounds. These actions are un-American. Thank you to the men and women in blue - the heroic Capitol Police - who are protecting the American people and the People’s House.”

Finger Lakes Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) called the violence absolutely unacceptable.

Read his statement below.

“Violence such as what we are seeing at the Capitol is absolutely unacceptable. We must de-escalate the situation immediately. We are Americans and do not do this. My heart breaks for our nation right now. Our country and its beautiful democracy is better than this. Our Constitution calls for the civil transition of power and though we may not agree with the election results, we must agree to always act with honor and civility towards all. We believe in the right to peacefully protest, but we must emphatically reject these horrible instances of physical attacks on our governing institutions and let democracy proceed.”

Among other central New Yorkers watching the violence at the nation’s capital unfold was Syracuse Bishop Douglas Lucia. He decided to offer a Holy Hour Wednesday night, responding to the violent protest in Washington.  

"All the violence, all the hate, all the angry words, will do nothing,” Lucia said. “Never forget the difference one kind word makes, the difference one loving act makes. The difference you can make.”

The Holy Hour was live-streamed. It is a devotional tradition in the Roman Catholic Church. In this case, Lucia called for peace and unity, in the nation at this time.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.