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Message from Dean Guzman on Violence in the Capitol
USC Gould School of Law

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Dear Gould students, staff, and faculty,
As I write this message, the tragic developments at our nation’s Capitol building continue to unfold. I have been appalled to witness this attack on our democratic process and our long history of peaceful transitions of Presidential power. I am horrified to see the violence and chaos aimed at the heart of our system of government. 
The distressing images coming out of Washington, D.C., are antithetical not only to the values we uphold as members of the legal profession, but also to the values we embrace as members of a free society. As a law school, we have an important obligation to prepare our students to be engaged in the democratic process and to defend the rule of law. 
Democracy is a cherished process, and violence has no place in it.  Peaceful protest and disagreement are part of the process and all of us have the right to engage in such actions, regardless of our political views. Violence, however, is not and can never be an acceptable form of political expression.  This is a simple fact that applies in all situations, but is all the more important to underscore when the most critical functions of our democracy are at stake. 
As of this moment, the situation is still transpiring in Washington, D.C., but we certainly hope for an end to any further violence or harm. As we wait for our democratic institutions to complete the time-honored processes associated with Presidential transition, we all hope for a safe resolution and peaceful days ahead. I hope that the terrible events of today serve to renew our resolve as a nation to uphold and protect the rule of law and the democratic values of the United States. 
Dean Andrew T. Guzman
Carl Mason Franklin Chair in Law and Professor of Law and Political Science



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