Capitol Police officer, NH veterans warn of Trump violence, threat to democracy

New Hampshire Congresswoman Annie Kuster, Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, veterans, and local leaders gathered for a roundtable discussion this week to discuss the importance of defending democracy in the upcoming midterm elections. (Colin Booth/Granite Post)

By Colin Booth

May 31, 2024

New Hampshire Congresswoman Annie Kuster,Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn joined local veterans and leaders for a roundtable discussion this week to discuss the importance of defending democracy in the upcoming November election.

The discussion was kicked off by US Capitol police officer Harry Dunn, a 15-year veteran of the Capitol Police force who shared his eyewitness account of surviving the January 6 insurrection. Dunn emphasized the existential threat that Donald Trump and extremist Republicans pose to democracy.

“Obviously, I have very first hand knowledge of what happened on January 6, and what can happen again if Donald Trump is elected president,” Dunn said. “We’re beyond the stages of fear mongering. We’ve already seen what can happen and what will happen again, and we need to believe the words that are coming out of Donald Trump’s mouth. He said it himself that he wants to be a dictator from day one. And at what point do we just not stop taking him seriously?”

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Just hours after the meeting Dunn was proved right, when the mother of fellow Jan. 6 officer Michael Fanone was swatted just hours after he called Trump an “authoritarian.”

Congresswoman Kuster, who has spoken at length about her own experience on January 6th, shared a video of her escaping the mob storming the Capitol just 30 seconds behind her evacuation.

“I was one of the last members to be evacuated from the House gallery before the Capitol Police had to block the doors, leaving two dozen of my colleagues literally locked in the House gallery,” Kuster said “Every day I’m reminded that our nation’s future is too important to let extreme Republicans, including the former president, whitewash our history. January 6 represents many things: how fragile our democracy is, the threat of the big lie, and the danger of disinformation. But it also represents incredible hope that we can endure hardships and that our democracy is worth fighting for.”

She thanked the brave officers like Harry Dunn who risked their lives to save members of Congress and democracy itself.

Other speakers, including veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, criticized Trump’s disrespect of the military and his failures in supporting veterans. They expressed support for President Biden, highlighting his achievements in passing legislation like the PACT Act that benefits veterans.

“I’m voting for Biden because he seems to care about actually leading this country, actually governing, producing positive results for our citizens and actually solving problems… He seems like a decent fellow that is faithful to his wife that takes care of his kids and serves his country… I value loyalty. I valued being true to your word. And I value standing up for what is right regardless of the popularity,” said Curtis Register, a USMC veteran, activist, and community leader elected to the Durham Town Council.

While some expressed reservations about the current political climate and misinformation campaigns, most agreed on the importance of unity, empowering voters, and standing up for democratic principles in the face of authoritarian threats. Younger activists said they hoped to inspire other Americans to show up and defend democracy through civic participation.

“To me, as a veteran and as as somebody that works in law enforcement, I think there needs to be an understanding that you can love your country and be and be patriotic and support Democrats and support this president,” said Adam Hammill, a Coast Guard Veteran.

Author

  • Colin Booth

    Based in Epsom, Colin Booth is Granite Post's political correspondent. A Granite State native and veteran political professional with a deep background in journalism, he's worked on campaigns and programs in battleground states across the country, ranging from New Hampshire, Texas, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.

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