To the editor:
In response to the Jan. 21 Alexandria Times editorial, “In search of unity,” I would like to set the record straight.
On Jan. 6, Alexandria residents feared for their safety.
We had residents at the U.S. Capitol, hiding from a violent insurrection that left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer.
We had residents who saw members of the Proud Boys, a designated hate group that helped lead that insurrection, staying in our city. The situation was deemed so dangerous that a 6 p.m. curfew was imposed on Alexandria.
According to an FBI witness, the Proud Boys intended to kill then-Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others. According to a Wall Street Journal investigation, the Proud Boys were at the forefront of the Capitol attack.
I will always act with the safety of Alexandria residents as a priority.
I did not ask hotels to deny lodging to Trump supporters – to state that I did is blatantly incorrect. I did, however, ask them to deny lodging to members of the Proud Boys. There is a significant difference. Similarly, it is a false equivalence to suggest that civil rights protests are the same as a premeditated, violent attempt to assassinate and overthrow our government that left five people dead.
I denounce violence of any kind, against anyone, and I hope residents, businesses and the Alexandria Times will join me in denouncing hate groups and domestic terrorists.
-Elizabeth Bennett-Parker, Alexandria Vice Mayor