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Huntsville leaders rally for 'accountability', one year after U.S. Capitol riot

The purpose of the rally was to get the attention of elected officials and bring awareness to the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Huntsville leaders held a community rally at Big Spring Park, a few feet away from Mayor Tommy Battle's office. 

Organizers from the Madison County Democrats office, the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP, and a few other organizations want elected officials to speak up about the Alabamians involved in the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.

One of the main organizers, Jerry Burnet says he is a Vietnam Veteran and through his service, he has learned the true meaning of democracy. 

"What I want them to understand about this rally is the effect that the January 6th insurrection attempt [had], the danger that it threats toward our democracy," Burnet explained. "Veterans play a special role, well not really a special... but a significant role in defending democracy because the sole purpose of the military is to defend the government and if we all want a government that is fair and equal then we should strive for it." 

Also in attendance was Charles Thompson III, a Democratic Congressional candidate for Alabama's fifth district who says he was influenced by the attack on the Capitol.

"Actually this is one of the reasons why I actually ran," Thompson explained.  "I saw the insurrection and it was an immediate attack on my personal freedoms. I was already mad at with the entire last four years as it was. I was frustrated about the lies, the propaganda, and the corruption in the system."

Since 2011, Republican Mo Brooks has represented major cities like Huntsville, Madison, and Decatur in the fifth congressional district. Thompson says it's time for a change. 

"It's beautiful to see that America will stand up. That people will stand up for what they believe in. That if they see that democracy fallen, they'll be the foundation for it." Thompson said.

The organizers are hoping to make the community rally an annual event. 

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