For so many in America and around the world, last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was not a surprise. The violent attempt to unlawfully subvert a legitimate election outcome was the physical expression of longstanding vehement opposition to equity, freedom, human rights, and democracy. This type of terror is all too common for millions of people experiencing poverty and hunger, Black, Brown and Indigenous people, and marginalized communities across the country and around the globe.
The violence of white supremacy and the horror of systemic racism was embodied in the images flooding news outlets of an angry mob storming the Capitol steps and an eerily calm, accommodating police response. In the days that followed, there was widespread acknowledgement that deadly force would no doubt be used if these actors were Black, Brown or Indigenous, and that President Trump had intentionally incited this act of domestic terrorism.
Without question, this is a moment of reckoning. Our democracy, and along with it, our collective social welfare has been publicly ambushed for the world to witness. As the U.S. faces debilitating rates of food insecurity, unemployment and poverty in the wake of COVID-19, our already fraying social safety net has been exposed as woefully inadequate. With so many millions of people struggling to make ends meet, put nutritious food on their tables and live a dignified, peaceful life, it is more essential than ever that we have a government that is “for the people” and held accountable to the people.
We know what happens to people’s rights, their food security, and their dignity when democracy is threatened and collapses. Time and again, the U.S. has used its influence and policies to destabilize governments and stoke conflict across the globe to protect its interests and the interests of corporations. For decades, WhyHunger has stood in solidarity with social movements led by millions of Indigenous people, people of Color, workers and small-scale farmers struggling to create food sovereignty, defend their rights to food, shelter, and ancestral lands and build justice in the wake of these interventions.
On a day when a historic, Black-led vote determined the balance of power in the U.S. Congress and the first Black and first Jewish Senators from Georgia were called by the people to lead, we were reminded of the power of collective action to spark change and create hope.
Today, we join our allies and grassroots partners across the country and around in the globe in:
- Denouncing violence in all forms.
- Calling for swift prosecution of those individuals involved in the insurrection at the Capitol and demanding accountability from those who incited this violence and are complicit in these acts of terror.
- Advancing policy changes to dismantle white supremacy and systemic racism throughout our institutions to address injustice in policing, criminal justice, voting regulations and our food system.
- Ending international policies and practices that fuel violence and destabilize foreign countries to protect U.S. interests, such as preventing access to medical supplies and food and imposing economic sanctions.
- Resourcing Black, Brown and Indigenous-led organizations and grassroots movements across the U.S. and following their lead in building a more just, democratic society that will protect human rights.
WhyHunger’s mission to end hunger and advance the human right to nutritious food requires that we address the root causes of hunger head on, speak out against injustice, and remain steadfast in our collective work to transform the systems and institutions that perpetuate hunger. Despite the tragedies and injustices that we have witnessed and experienced over the past year alone, we have seen what is possible when we choose to stand together. The hope for humanity—for justice, abundance, and peace—is in all our hands. As WhyHunger doubles down on our efforts to continue this work across the U.S. and around the world, we hope you will continue to stand with us in building a just and hunger free world for all.