Jan 6, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Harris a year after Jan. 6 riot: "If we're not vigilant" democracy will fail

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks from Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2022.

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks from Statuary Hall at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris warned Thursday of the fragility of democracy, saying, "if we are not vigilant, if we do not defend it, democracy simply will not stand" on the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Driving the news: "The strength of democracy is the rule of law," Harris said, while also advocating for the expansion of voting rights, saying, "We must pass the voting rights bills that are now before the Senate. We cannot sit on the sidelines. We must unite in defense of our democracy."

What she's saying: "On January 6, we all saw what our nation would look like if the forces who seek to dismantle our democracy are successful — the lawlessness, the violence, the chaos," Harris, who was in the Capitol one year ago today, said.

  • "January 6 reflects the dual nature of democracy — its fragility and its strength," Harris said.
  • "The strength of democracy is the principle that everyone should be treated equally. That elections should be free and fair. That corruption should be given no quarter. The strength of democracy is that it empowers the people."
  • "And the fragility of democracy is this. That if we are not vigilant, if we do not defend it, democracy simply will not stand. It will falter and fail," Harris added.

Go deeper: In photos: Looking back at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot

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