Letters to the Editor: Was it a riot, an insurrection or terrorism? What we call Jan. 6 matters

Police officers clear a hallway inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Police officers clear a hallway inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, during the pro-Trump riot.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Thank you for sharing part of former U.S. Capitol Police Officer Michael Fanone’s story. As a survivor of childhood trauma, I can attest to the cathartic value of telling our respective stories.

Truth is also essential. Euphemisms do not help.

I object to referring to former President Trump’s fascist Republican domestic terrorists as “insurrectionists.” The latter offers a veneer of respectability. Insurrections are at times justified; terrorism never is.

Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice should expedite the prosecution of the planners, leaders and financial supporters, as well as those who committed the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Accountability would rightly honor the valiant Capitol police.


Justice delayed is justice denied.

Robert Leyland Monefeldt, Los Angeles


To the editor: Throughout my lifetime, Dec. 7, 1941, was the date that lived in infamy. That changed on Jan. 6, 2021, when an insurrection took place at the U.S. Capitol.

I use the term “insurrection” intentionally, because that is exactly what it was: a violent uprising against an authority or government. The purpose of the insurrection was nothing less than the overturning of the 2020 election.

As the images of that day have been shown throughout the past year, the seriousness of what happened has sunk in with me, but unfortunately less so with others. Had the insurrection succeeded, Congress may have been unable to certify the electoral college vote, and the outcome of the presidential election would have remained in limbo.

We must vigorously oppose the Big Lie that the election was stolen or otherwise unfair. We must not accept the revisionist view that Jan. 6 was an example of the exercise of free speech with no criminal intent.

All Americans need to understand that our democracy nearly came undone on Jan. 6, 2021 — another date that will live in infamy.


Richard Seligman, Simi Valley