‘Not On Our Watch!’ Hundreds Attend Vigil and Call to Action on Anniversary of Insurrection

By Gretchen Berger

A somber candlelight vigil was held on Thursday, January 6, in Verdi Square (73rd/Broadway) to commemorate and shed light on the Capitol Insurrection that happened just a year ago. Hundreds of people attended in solidarity and defense of democracy.

A frequent refrain from the crowd was a chorus of “Not on our watch!”

Is America’s democracy ailing?

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (center).

Speakers included Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Dr. Nori Rost of the New York Ethical Culture Society, the Rev. Emmanuel Asse of the National Action Network, Rev. Schuyler Vogel of the Fourth Universalist Society, among others. All the speakers echoed Benjamin Franklin’s famous phrase, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Rep. Nadler commented on what a difficult task lay ahead with so much on the line.

And yes, there was also music – singing! A Battle Hymn redux retitled “Battle Hymn for Democracy,” and “We Shall Overcome,” also with some new lines.

HISTORY, NEWS, OUTDOORS | 6 comments | permalink
    1. Leon says:

      I’m glad everyone is excited and passionate. Now what are they going to do? The Republicans are organized and have a plan – changing voting laws, packing the courts, etc. Democrats like to kvetch and obsess over issues like the Teddy Roosevelt statue at the AMNH and making sure that we aren’t too hard on those who physically attack others.

      The Republicans are going to have the last laugh in November, and even more so in November, 2024. Read some of the recent Op/Ed’s in the NYT – this could get really scary.

      I don’t know the answers. But I know that singing kumbaya is not going to solve this.

      • Joanne Live Free or Die Baby! says:

        There are more registered Independents (41%) than Republicans (31%) and Democrats (27%.)

        Most independents don’t participate in primaries, so Republicans get stuck with horrible choices like Trump while Democrats get stuck with the likes of AOC.

        I know many independents are idealistic and hate the 2 parties, but they have to be practical and work with what we have until things change. While many lean left or right, the independents tend not to be extreme. They need to participate in more primaries so the voters get better choices.

        • Leda says:

          In NY, only registered party members may vote in that party’s primary. That leaves out a majority of voters. I think it’s a real problem, especially in national elections, and especially for president. The majority of people in our state are either registered as Independents or registered to vote but with no party affiliation, and they have no representation in the primaries.

    2. Sick and Tired says:

      The lack of voter turnout is what depresses me. Show ip to vote or……please stop complaining with all your outrage. It’s exhausting.

    3. ARC says:

      What a great event. So hopeful to see such a great turn out.

      Thank you to the organizers and the speakers. Thank you West Side Rag & other media outlets that covered this important event!

      Proud to live in our community on the UWS dedicated to fighting for American democracy!

    4. Sam Katz says:

      Please don’t call January 6th an “anniversary.” An anniversary is a joyous occasion. It was a “vigil” or a “marking of” or a “remembrance of,” but not a commemoration or anniversary.