OLYMPIA…Washington State Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, released the following statement regarding protests in Washington, D.C. that have resulted in breaches of security, a lockdown of the U.S. Capitol and the distribution of gas masks to legislators.


“What we are seeing at our nation’s Capitol today is unacceptable. I condemned the violent protests here in our state and around the country this summer and I condemn today’s actions just as strongly. Attacking the U.S. Capitol is no more justifiable than attacking our state capitol, or a police precinct, or private property that happens to be in a certain part of a city. No matter the reasoning behind it, violence is not the answer.


“One of the bedrocks of our democracy – something that has distinguished our nation from many others for centuries – is the peaceful transfer of power from one elected official to another. I understand that some question the legitimacy of the recent election. The U.S. Constitution guarantees them the right to have their voices heard through peaceful assembly. They even have the right to challenge the election process in a court of law. But nothing grants anyone the right to storm the Capitol building and terrify those inside.


“I sincerely hope those protesting at the Washington State Capitol who share a cause with those protesting in D.C. today recognize the volatility of the situation and the need to maintain public safety, respect the role of the Capitol campus security officers and conduct themselves peacefully. Violence is not the path forward.”