June 24, 2021

MILLER-MEEKS: ‘This is a sad day for all of us’

IA02 Congresswoman says there are ‘proper ways to protest,’ but storming the U.S. Capitol isn’t one of them

Protesters can be “engaged” and “passionate” but they “should not rise to the level of destroying property,” Iowa Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks said of the Wednesday, Jan. 8 riot in which several pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., leading to five deaths.

“This is a sad day for all of us,” Miller-Meeks said.

Miller-Meeks held a Zoom call with reporters after rioters had broke into the capitol building. The newly elected representative of Iowa’s second congressional district advised the press that she and her staff were safe.

Rioters breached the capitol building the same day Congress was to confirm Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

Miller-Meeks was on the Congress floor listening to the debates — which she described as “civil” on both sides — when the riots began. It was noisy, she said, and there was a lot of chatter. But the Republican congresswoman declined to describe the event further with reporters.

Certainly people are concerned, angry, frustrated or disappointed, but there are “proper ways to protest,” Miller-Meeks said.

“Just like the social unrest over the summer, I’m strongly in support of the constitutional right to protest, and protesting should be peaceful,” she said. “(It) should not be breaching buildings or storming the capitol. It is very frightening.”

When large groups of become unruly and destroy buildings and violate security, Miller-Meeks added, there is worry these activities constitute as anarchy. She also said it’s necessary for Trump to denounce the riots. Miller-Meeks expected the mood to be somber by the time Congress reconvenes.

“Many of us see this as… as a sad day in our democracy,” Miller-Meeks said. “…This is a great country. We have a great republic and a democracy, and we want to maintain that for not only 2021 and this year, but for generations to come.”

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com