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You Are the Difference



On January 10, 2021, Fellows and Senior Fellows gathered for a virtual debrief about the violent attack on the US Capitol on January 6th. This is Senior Fellow Moritz Decker’s reflection following that call.
I think there are three things right now that Humanity in Action can accomplish from a civil society perspective:

Coming together to speak and to act is a fundamental part of democracy.

Drawing the line — it is crucial to name what we witness. Violence on democratic representatives or institutions, or even bystanding or mocking such events, destroy democracy very easily. The call for impeachment is the right action.
Emphasizing the difference — the situation of January 6, 2021 is distinct from other attempted-coups or violations of democracy in the past in the US. The call for civil leadership and personal responsibility is fundamentally important to empower others who are watching and listening to act themselves.
Providing a public space — debrief calls like the one that gathered Senior Fellows on January 10th allow for reflection, discussion, and exchange of ideas on how to move forward as a network. Coming together to speak and to act is a fundamental part of democracy. Humanity in Action can provide and secure public space while also enlivening its Fellow and Senior Fellow network.
Reflecting on our Humanity in Action network call and the January 6th events, I have written this poem:
“You are the difference.” 
Entirely charred in parliament
On the brink on 27th Feb ’33
The damaged chairs knelled silently.
Despite an arsonist within its doors
The Capitol kept on to work 
That is the difference to 6th Jan ’21.
I name the scenes today a fascist coup
To draw the line between the fallen chairs
And those charred in Germany.
The heavy task these days is how
to draw the line around disgrace
While healing agony all people feel.
Which is the line you like to draw?
What act of healing you provide?
How will you save democracy?