Members of the activist group Just Say NO to Extremism held a rally in Castle Rock this morning to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“The attack on the Capitol was the culminating event in a campaign which had begun even before the 2020 election, to retain the 45th president in office even were he to lose the election, which he did,” said Eric Brody, who ran unsuccessfully against Rep. Brandi Bradley (R-Littleton) in the November election.
Brody recognized the 12 individuals awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian award, by President Joe Biden today. “Officers Harry Dunn, Caroline Edwards, Michael Fanone, Aquilino Gonell, Eugene Goodman, Daniel Hodges, and Brian Sicknick bravely defended the Capitol against the mob,” he said. “Some of them sustained significant injury in the struggle, and Officer Sicknick died the following day from strokes likely related to his heroic actions on January 6. Jocelyn Benson, re-elected this past November, was Michigan’s secretary of state. In the month following the 2020 election, Benson faced down armed mobs at her home and the threats and schemes of the then-president and his allies, all of whom sought to reverse Michigan’s 2020 presidential election outcome. Rusty Bowers was the speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives. Following the 2020 election, Bowers resisted pressure from the then-president and his allies to replace the certified electors with a false slate committed to the then-president. Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss – mother and daughter – were election workers in Fulton County, Georgia. Following the 2020 election, they were subjected to threats and harassment from the supporters of the then-president, who leveled baseless accusations of election tampering against them. Despite repeated debunking of such accusations, the former president renewed the attacks just this week. Al Schmidt served as a city commissioner on the Philadelphia County board of elections. In that position, Schmidt upheld the results of the 2020 presidential election against the lies of the then-president and threats against him and his family that followed.”
Five people died either shortly before, during, or following the Jan. 6 insurrection. One person was shot by Capitol Police, another died of a drug overdose, and three died of natural causes. Many people were injured, including 138 police officers. Four officers who responded to the attack died by suicide within seven months.
Charges against Jan. 6 participants continue to be filed. Most recently, Rebecca Lavrenz, an El Paso County resident with ties to FEC United and Andrew Wommack’s Truth and Liberty Coalition, was arrested on Dec. 19. Tyler Ethridge, a friend of the Lavrenz family and a graduate of Wommack’s Charis Bible College, was charged in July with six counts related to his involvement in Jan. 6. Teller County resident Robert Gieswein, who wielded a bat during the riot, was arrested in 2021 and charged with multiple felonies.
Avery MacCracken, who posed for photos at a Dec. 1, 2021 rally in Grand Junction with embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, was arrested Dec. 14, 2021, for assaulting police officers during Jan. 6.
Shawn Smith, a noted election denier and member of U.S. Election Integrity Project and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s Cause of America Project, also battled with police during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Smith has not been charged.
Failed Senate candidate and former Colorado Rep. Ron Hanks also attended the Jan. 6 riot.
“People who are both decent and sensible recognize today’s honorees as the heroes that they are,” said Brody. “We stand up for them against the extremists in our community who wage relentless campaigns of lies, intimidation, and hate. Stand up for the heroes. Just say no to extremism.”