Student groups on the Capitol riots

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Sam Rush/NW

Peter Smedley

On Jan. 6 a group of pro-Trump protestors stormed the U.S. Capitol with hopes of overturning the certification of the Electoral College votes. Students across the nation observed the events from afar, including Matthew Fahey, junior political science and history major, and NMU Democrats President. Fahey made an official statement representing the NMU Democrats in an interview earlier this week.

“[They] should be treated like any other group, left or right, going in and doing the same thing. It’s pretty scary and historically relevant since this hasn’t happened since 1812. That being said, we are hoping that charges are put out accordingly and on top of that whoever’s responsible for making a call on how much protection should’ve been present—  we saw heavy protection in cases of the black lives matter movement when they were in Washington. Really the FBI knew a lot of this was going to happen, at least that not necessarily they were going to storm the Capitol but that they were going to be there and possibly be very upset and angry,” Fahey said.

In response to the Capitol riots Fahey encourages students to remain steadfast and to focus on unity rather than further division. 

“There was a lot of anger, basically economic inequality and, at least my view, the inattention from senators and representatives on a national level… You have that anger from that perspective and then you have a president who lies, in our opinion and is relentlessly okay with talking about how this election was stolen… Even if I were to say it were equal across the board I think we’ve hit a point where we need to remain steadfast and realize this is our capitol, not just a left or right thing despite how the house of representatives leans.”

Fahey does not blame individuals who voted for Trump in 2016, but believes that responsibility must be accepted.

“Each one of those rioters thought at some point I’m actually doing this. I’m going to break into the capitol. There is that level of responsibility—  I’m not trying to diminish that but we also have to understand there’s more to it than just that there’s president Trump inciting it. There’s state senators and representatives inciting it in their own ways leading up to the break in. It’s been years and decades in the making,” Fahey said.

ASNMU, lead by Emma Drever, has also released an official statement regarding the attack on the Capitol:

The Associated Students of Northern Michigan University are opposed to the suppression of democracy and other violent means of expression. 

We encourage our peers who are curious about the guarantee of free and fair elections to seek that information by utilizing the wealth of university resources. We recommend the scholarship and guidance of our advisor Dr. Carter Wilson.

We further encourage our fellow students to engage meaningfully with their government through community-based civic organization and individual relationship development with elected officials. 

We also hope that our students experiencing trauma, overwhelm, and any other mental distress or mental illness during this complex social climate might seek treatment. The university offers free confidential Counseling and Consultation Services, as well as 24/7 virtual support through Therapy Assist Online and Health Advocate. Visit nmu.edu/counselingandconsultation or call (906) 227 2980. 

Please visit nmu.edu/asnmu or 1203 Northern Center and contact us at [email protected] or (906) 227 2452 with questions.

The Northwind has reached out to the NMU republicans for comment, but has yet to receive a response.