During the three years after the violent insurrection at the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, more than a thousand people have been arrested and tried, and hundreds have been convicted in the largest criminal investigation in the nation’s history.
But Donald Trump, the chief instigator of the attempt to overturn the 2020 election, remains free. Trump has begun referring to the January 6 convicts as “hostages” and has promised to free them if he returns to office. On the third anniversary of the insurrection, lawmakers and democracy advocates gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol to demand the passage of federal democracy reforms such as the protection of voting rights. Among them was Naveed Shah, a veteran of the U.S. Army and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and political director of Common Defense. Shah spoke with YES! Senior Editor Sonali Kolhatkar on YES Presents: Rising Up With Sonali about protecting democracy from Trump.
Sonali Kolhatkar joined YES! in summer 2021, building on a long and decorated career in broadcast and print journalism. She is an award-winning multimedia journalist, and host and creator of YES! Presents: Rising Up with Sonali, a nationally syndicated television and radio program airing on Free Speech TV and dozens of independent and community radio stations. She is also Senior Correspondent with the Independent Media Institute’s Economy for All project where she writes a weekly column. She is the author of Rising Up: The Power of Narrative in Pursuing Racial Justice (2023) and Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence (2005). Her forthcoming book is called Talking About Abolition (Seven Stories Press, 2025). Sonali is co-director of the nonprofit group, Afghan Women’s Mission which she helped to co-found in 2000. She has a Master’s in Astronomy from the University of Hawai’i, and two undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin. Sonali reflects on “My Journey From Astrophysicist to Radio Host” in her 2014 TEDx talk of the same name.