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‘I’m worried about democracy’: Gainesville residents remember Capitol Riots with vigil, call for voting rights

Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 10:41 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - More than 50 Gainesville residents called for voters rights in remembrance of the Jan. 6th U.S Capitol Riots at City Hall.

“I’m worried about democracy,” attendee Kate Murray said. “I’m really worried about it.”

People heard from speakers and held up signs calling on officials to make voting more accessible.

“It has me very concerned,” organizer Alice Primack said.

More than 700 people were charged, including multiple people from North Central Florida, for storming the Capitol to disrupt the certification of the presidential election.

Related story: State leaders reflect on the Capitol Riots one-year later

Organizer with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, Alice Primack explained her mission.

“Everyone’s vote counts and that there isn’t a question about whether it’s going to count,” Primack said.

They’re urging the U.S. Senate to pass voting rights legislation like the John Lewis Voting Rights Act that requires states to pre-clear with the federal government certain changes to their voting laws.

“The federal government could undo all that voter suppression that’s going on in places like Florida and Georgia and I would put my whole body weight behind that if I could,” Murray said.

North Central Florida Representative for the 5th Congressional District Al Lawson said some lawmakers are destroying Americans rights.

“Look at all the laws that have been filed since then on voting rights to make it very difficult to vote,” Lawson said. “That’s unamerican.”

“If we don’t vote we are a hopeless people,” NAACP President of the Alachua County chapter Evelyn Foxx said.

After hearing from speakers, they waved their signs towards the street to share their message with others.

“Everyone, no matter what political party, what political beliefs, we need to pull together and make sure that we fight for everyone,” Primack said.

This vigil was just like the vigil at the capitol to remember the tragedy.

“Let’s all take a quiet minute and think about what happened,” Primack said.

They said spreading the word at events like this can help prevent a similar attack from happening again.

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