Rep. McGovern speaks at Indivisible Worcester’s third January 6 “Never Forget” standout.

by Mary Sacksteder, Indivisible Worcester

At noon on January 6, Indivisible Worcester held its third Never Forget, Never Back Down Standout. 40 people participated. Congressman Jim McGovern of US District 2 spoke to the group of that day in 2021 and its toxic aftermath. 

Representative McGovern took over the floor of the US House on January 6, 2021 when Nancy Pelosi was whisked away to safety. He was the last member of Congress to leave the chamber. As he left, he came face-to-face with hundreds of insurrectionists, not knowing the number of criminals who had taken over the building. He was within feet of the door where the invader tried to break through and was shot dead, as it happened. I marvel that he doesn’t suffer from PTSD after what he witnessed. He did not imagine he was putting his life on the line when he ran for Congress.

We offered a moment of silence to honor the defenders of our democracy who suffered — even died — that day in defense of our Constitution. We are forever grateful for their service and regret the fear and pain they endured to protect our democracy.

Accountability is slow to arrive.

The Jan 6, 2021 attack on Congress was a crime. We have been waiting for our judicial system to bring the criminals to account. So far, more than 1,200 insurrectionists have been charged and more than 460 imprisoned for their crimes, while investigations continue.

Yet in the past three years, we have witnessed possibly fatal flaws in our judicial system and our Constitution in bringing some of the highest-ranking conspirators to justice. We saw the ultimate betrayal of trust by corrupt Supreme Court Justices, lower-ranking members of the judiciary, and federal, state and local office holders. 

We’re fighting to block Trump from the Mass. ballot.

Our own Secretary of the Commonwealth, William Galvin, refused to meet with members of Indivisible Worcester in November 2022 and accept the banner with over 500 signatures, asking that he enforce US Constitutional Amendment 14, paragraph 3. 

But we and others fight on. Last Thursday, Free Speech For People filed a challenge before the Massachusetts Ballot Law Commission on behalf of individual Massachusetts voters challenging Donald Trump’s eligibility to appear on the state’s presidential primary and general election ballot. The petitioners are a mix of Republican, Independent, and Democratic voters. They challenge the Commission to abide by Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment and bar Trump from appearing on the state ballot. 

Congressman McGovern’s January 6 remarks — about keeping insurrectionists off not only federal election ballots but also state and local election ballots — were especially timely. As of last week, an insurrectionist was sworn in to our Worcester School Committee. 

From the 10/23/23 Patch: “[Kathleen] Roy refused to answer questions about her activities related to arranging bus trips from the Worcester area to Washington DC around January 6 2021. She now sits on the Worcester School Committee. Our Clerk of Courts has not responded to inquiries about Roy’s eligibility to hold office according to Constitutional Amendment 14, paragraph 3.”

Hope and hard work will save our democracy.

We have our work cut out for us running up to the November election. I trust Indivisible to direct us on where to place our efforts to protect democracy. President Biden is following Indivisible’s playbook and focusing on the dangers of MAGA Republicans. His speech laying out the history of their depravity and describing his plan to push back gave me hope. Cultivating hope will empower us to stand tall and demand our democracy be sustained for generations to come.

Mary Sacksteder organized the Indivisible Worcester rally.