WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — On the anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Williamsburg residents are hosting a candlelight vigil in remembrance.
Indivisible Williamsburg JCC is calling on lawmakers to pass laws to protect voting rights, including the Freedom to Vote Act, the Protecting Our Democracy Act and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, as well as D.C. statehood.
The group wants to prevent this kind of attack from happening again. They will meet at 5 p.m. at the James City County courthouse. Several officials will be there, including John McGlennon with JCC board of Supervisors.
On this day last year, an angry mob attacked the U.S. Capitol. Several lawmakers including Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) were inside the building working to certify the President Joe Biden’s election win.
“It’s a day that I never would have imagined. I’d never forget, and I hope I never see repeated ever in the history of this country,” Kaine said.
More than 150 police officers were hurt and five died in the aftermath, including four by suicide. Kaine calls it an internal attack motivated by former President Donald Trump.
“What we saw on January 6 was a concerted and violent effort to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power to disenfranchise 80 million Americans who had voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” Kaine said. “The losing presidential candidate, because of ego and insecurity, couldn’t accept that he lost so he perpetrated a big lie about a stolen election, encouraged his followers to come to D.C. and for a wild event on that day and we saw what happened.”
Now Kaine is working to pass voter rights laws including the John Lewis and Freedom to Vote acts.
“These voting bills are not about helping one party or the other. They are about making sure we protect people’s rights to vote, we maximize participation, and we protect the integrity of our democracy that our former presidents seem hellbent on impugning and even destroying in order to advance his own interests.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland promises those responsible for the attack will face tough sentences. So far, the Justice Department has arrested and charged more than 725 people.
WAVY.com reports at least 13 people from Hampton Roads were arrested in connection to the insurrection. Three of those people have been convicted and face 2-3 years’ probation and $500 restitution.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are expected to speak at the Capitol at 9a.m.