Protect Democracy Demonstrators Rally Against Political Violence at Park Square

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Demonstrators in Berkshire County gathered at Pittsfield’s Park Square to oppose and commemorate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The insurrection, incited by right-wing extremists attempting to overturn the presidential election results, left a lasting impact locally and nationally.

More than 60 people joined the gathering, listening to various speakers, including Michael Wise, the chairman of Berkshire Democratic Brigades. Wise read a speech delivered by President Joe Biden, emphasizing the significance of upholding American democracy.

The attack on the Capitol led to violent incidents and sent elected officials fleeing for safety. The unfounded “Big Lie” conspiracy theory, claiming the election’s theft, fueled the mob’s actions. The persistence of this falsehood has contributed to misinformation and distrust in institutions, with some Americans even believing in conspiracy theories involving the FBI or other political motives.

State Senator Paul Mark and State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, both Democrats, addressed the crowd, highlighting the importance of defending democracy. Their remarks stressed the need to reject attempts to undermine democratic processes and the peaceful transfer of power.

Several local organizations, including the Rural Freedom Network, the Berkshire branch of the NAACP, and the Western Mass. Area Labor Federation, organized the event to celebrate American democracy and voice support for the ongoing investigations into those responsible for the insurrection.

The demonstrations also shed light on local ties to the Jan. 6 riots, with individuals from Berkshire County being among those prosecuted for their involvement in the insurrection. The NAACP’s President, Dennis Powell, emphasized the critical role of voting in safeguarding democracy and standing up against injustices within the nation.

As the anniversary of the events of January 6th passes, local communities continue to reflect on the impact of the insurrection and the ongoing efforts to protect the integrity of the democratic process.