Alaska’s largest Alaska Native organization is calling for President Donald Trump to resign.
Alaska Federation of Natives president Julie Kitka says that she was horrified by Jan. 6’s deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters. AFN joined Alaska’s congressional delegation in condemning the actions. “It really, truly was a riot. And we felt that we needed to come out and condemn it and call it for what it is,” Kitka said. “The full weight of the law needs to go on all those perpetrators and the people who planned this, because it was wrong.”
Five people were killed, including one Capitol Police officer, after a group left a Trump rally and forced its way into the Capitol building. AFN co-chair Ana Hoffman said one of the things most striking in the attack was police treatment of the rioters, most of whom were white. She says the police officers’ restraint was in stark contrast to treatment of Black and Native protesters in D.C. last year.
“I think the rest of the country was able to see the real disparity between how law enforcement and others respond to people of color versus the group that we saw at the Capitol,” Hoffman said. “So that is the reality that Alaska Native people, brown and Black people experience every day.”
Hoffman says last week’s events show police are capable of de-escalating violent crowds without using force.
“Acknowledging the difference in responses is another place for law enforcement to start,” Hoffman said.
AFN’s leadership applauded Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s statement that the president should go. Last week, Alaska’s senior senator blamed President Trump for encouraging supporters to march on the Capitol where Congress was certifying the results of the 2020 election, which he lost.
Kitka says Murkowski showed leadership in bucking with her party to oppose the president.
“Knowing that she was pretty lone out there doing that, we just felt we needed to show public support behind what she is trying to say, what she is pushing for,” Kitka said. “She’s a very responsible leader and she is not radical. She is a common sense and solid person on that.”
The U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump for the second time in just over a year. Alaska Congressman Don Young voted against impeachment.
The articles of impeachment will be sent to the U.S. Senate for trial. Kitka says AFN’s leadership plans to contact Sen. Dan Sullivan ahead of any vote by senators.
This isn’t the first time AFN has condemned President Trump. They objected to his use of the name Pocahontas as a slur during remarks at a ceremony honoring the Navajo code talkers of World War II.