In quotes: What Princeton area leaders are saying about the riot at the Capitol

“This is not a mere protest, this is a disruption of democracy. And it is the direct result of incendiary rhetoric from the president and members of his party. It’s the last gasp of a party that has abandoned its commitment to our country’s ideals. When we have resolved the destruction, violence, and chaos in the Capitol, we’ll go back to the business of confirming the votes of the American people.”

Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman

“I join many Americans in expressing shock and disappointment at the events in our nation’s capital yesterday. One of the fundamental ideals of our democracy is the peaceful transition of power. No one person or one political party should be placed above our democracy. There was ample opportunity to challenge the results of the election, but time after time, the courts and state officials stood by the results. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn into office on January 20. This is a wake-up call for all Americans. Words matter. Truth matters. There is reason for optimism with the inauguration just twelve days away. The rollout of the COVID vaccines will pick up. I denounce the violence and divisive rhetoric, and I pledge to work together with all Princeton residents for a better, safer future.”

Princeton Mayor Mark Freda

“This is troubling no matter what your political views, and no matter on which side of the political aisle you find yourself. ‘Storming the barricades’ to disrupt the orderly transfer of power — a bedrock principle that defines the nearly 250 years of our nation’s history – is anathema. At a moment when it seems that so many fundamental values are being challenged, we wanted to take a moment to remind and reassure the members of our community of the values we hold dear: That we are a diverse community and a resilient community. That we are a community where we can, and must, talk about our differences in respectful and responsible tones. That we are a beloved community.   We want to urge everyone to remember and embrace these values.”

Jonathan Holloway, President Rutgers University

“The Constitution permits us to address disagreements peacefully as we strive together for justice, prosperity, and a better future.  It permits us to do so, however, only if we, the people of this country, have the strength and commitment to make real the Constitution’s promise. Despite our many imperfections, generations of Americans have embraced that responsibility. We have taken justifiable pride in the regular, peaceful transitions of power, which have occurred even after close and bitterly contested elections. We have celebrated the willingness of losing candidates to acknowledge and accept the results of the democratic process. Many of us also took those peaceful transitions for granted. After today, it is clear that we can no longer do so. We must now actively cultivate what once seemed inevitable. We must rededicate ourselves to supporting and enacting the basic practices and values upon which our democracy and freedom depend.”

Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber

“On August 24, 1814, the British stormed our Capitol and set fire to it. Now the Capitol has again been breached and sieged. Donald Trump incited this. He is responsible for this. And he is silent as this tragic moment continues. And Donald Trump is being aided and abetted by a group of Republican House and Senate members. This is on them, as well. We must rise from this nadir of shame. We must repair our democracy. We must heal our nation.”

U.S. Senator Cory Booker

“Make no mistake – yesterday was no accident. It was the result of four years of gaslighting and concerted attempts from within to weaken our democracy. But our democracy proved more resilient than the deranged conspiracy theories. God bless America.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy