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Demonstrators gather for ‘democracy vigil’ one year after Jan. 6 insurrection

Justin Hicks/IPB News

It was cold and windy in South Bend Thursday night, but about 20 people braved the weather to demonstrate for democracy and voting rights. 

The demonstration was one of hundreds across the nation commemorating the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Capitol insurrection.


Organizer Paul Sniadecki remembers watching news coverage of the insurrection last year, and said he couldn’t believe it.


“It hurt,” he said. “When you have a democracy, you resolve your differences with patience and rationality and nonviolence. Last year was anything but patience, nonviolence and rational discussion.”


So when he saw posts online about gatherings in other communities, he decided to organize one for the Michiana area. As a grandfather, Sniadecki said it’s important to set a good example for the next generation. 


“We have to think about our children. What legacy are we gonna leave our kids?” he said. “People died in wars for our democracy, and we have to protect it.” 


“That’s why we’re all here in the freezing cold,” he added with a laugh.

Credit Justin Hicks/IPB News
Demonstrators gathered in South Bend on Thursday, Jan. 6, one year after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Sniadecki said demonstrators gathered in support of four pieces of federal legislation: the Freedom to Vote Act, the Protecting Our Democracy Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Washington, D.C. Admission Act.

Contact Gemma atgdicarlo@wvpe.orgor follow her on Twitter at@gemma_dicarlo.


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