On Wednesday, January 6, 2020, thousands of Donald Trump supporters converged on Washington, D.C. Their first stop was to listen to the President state that he refused to concede the election, that the election was ripe with fraud, as he then encouraged his followers to march to the Capitol Building and protest.
While some may feel shocked at today’s events, in reality, they were inevitable.
As Charlie Warzel, an opinion writer in the New York Times wrote:
You can draw a straight line from the message-board fever swamps to Mr. Trump’s rallies to Charlottesville to “Stand back and stand by” to this. It is a desperate attempt to overthrow the democratic process. It is also the crash of a universe of toxic conspiracies against the rocks of human reality.
Today’s event shows that we are now in a very volatile period in our nation’s history. In the past, right-wing extremists have primarily been “noisemakers.”
They have shouted their beliefs on right-wing news programs and social media, with most Americans tuning them out.
But with one of their biggest supporters – some might say, leaders in the White House – they have taken to the streets, in what can only be called a coup d’état, to tear up the Constitution, keep Donald Trump in the White House, and undo a fair, fraud-free election. This amounts to nothing short of Seditious Conspiracy, an act against the U.S. Government and its Institutions.
So, what do today’s events mean for our clients and businesses and organizations throughout the country? We recommend the following:
Shelter in place. Remote working is already in place due to COVID, but you and your staff should shelter in place. Some of us believe the concept, “shelter in place” is new, having been developed because of COVID-19. That is not the case. It was a term developed years ago and often used by security experts to encourage people to stay inside, stay covered, and stay put.
Stay informed. Not only stay informed, but make sure your news sources report the news as it is, not with a political slant either to the left or the right. Two that we recommend are Reuters and the Associated Press. For the most part, these two news agencies are believed to have a “neutral voice.”
Follow instructions. A curfew has been called in Washington, D.C. Other cities around the country may also call for curfews. Follow the instructions of local law enforcement authorities. If a curfew or shelter in place is called in your city, honor it. Mandatory curfews are only called when there is a serious concern that people or property may be endangered.
Watch for additional escalation. In our opinion, these types of activities may expand to State Capitals, Federal buildings, and other sites throughout the nation. We recommend keeping away from government locations of all types at this point.
Secure physical locations. In anticipation of what might be a challenging day, barricades were installed on sidewalks in Chicago’s business and retail areas. Other cities likely did the same thing. Building owners and managers should secure their buildings. Today, right-wing extremists were able to break into the U.S. Capitol Building. If they can break into one of the most secure buildings in the world, assume they can break into your building as well.
Convene your organization’s Corporate Crisis Management Team. All too many organizations have no idea what to do when a crisis occurs, whether it is a natural disaster, a fire or security breach, or a demonstration that turns violent. Now is the time to create a Crisis Management Team. If one is already in place in your organization, meet now to determine what steps are necessary to protect your staff, your customers, and your property.
Be prepared. Most news outlets reported today, we would hear much bantering in Congress about the election results, but president-elect Biden would be formally announced as our next president by the end of the day. Few anticipated anything such as we have now experienced. For this reason, we must stay on guard. In the next couple of days, things may quiet down, or they can get worse. Be prepared for whatever evolves
As always, we are here for help and support. Feel free to contact us.
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