Rep. Al Green (D-TX) on Thursday took a photo taken of himself sitting on the Capitol’s steps and distributed it to news media to send a message he would stand up to the “right-wing extremists” who he believed would attempt to breach the Capitol that day.
“I want to make a statement to let people know, those who would threaten those of us who cherish this freedom that we have here that we refuse to allow those threats to negate our freedom,” he told The Hill.
Authorities reportedly cautioned some who breached the Capitol on January 6 would come back on March 4, based on the day being the inauguration day before 1933.
In anticipation of the potential event, the House canceled votes on Thursday, while the Senate remained.
Green also advertised he was at the Capitol via social media.
“I love my country and believe that freedom is not free. Others have made great sacrifices for the freedoms I enjoy. I refuse to surrender our nation’s Capitol to those who would abridge my freedom. Hence, as a matter of personal principle, I will be in the Capitol complex today,” he tweeted.
I love my country and believe that freedom is not free. Others have made great sacrifices for the freedoms I enjoy. I refuse to surrender our nation’s Capitol to those who would abridge my freedom. Hence, as a matter of personal principle, I will be in the Capitol complex today.
— Congressman Al Green (@RepAlGreen) March 4, 2021
Green — who was protected by a fence surrounding the Capitol with razor wire on top and National Guard troops — said he felt he needed to take a stand.
“I want to send a message to those who would abridge our rights — I want to let them know that I refuse to allow them to prevent me from enjoying this freedom that I have, that I won’t surrender the freedom that I have. This means a lot to me, just to sit here and I’ve talked to several to officers who’ve come by, I see the fence with the razor wire at the top, there are troops all around the perimeter,” he told The Hill.
“If you tolerate hate you perpetuate it — anybody that tolerates hate perpetuates it,” he said. “If people penetrate it, it does not crawl back under a rock,” he said.
Green’s remarks come as Democrats have increasingly sought to tie protesters at the White House and the Capitol on January 6 to white supremacy. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said Tuesday during a hearing that those who stormed the Capitol “might as well” have worn “white robes and hoods.”