Combating domestic terrorism ‘is the fight of our generation,’ Seth Magaziner says at Brown

In his first campus visit since taking office, the new U.S. representative described the urgency of confronting domestic terrorism and advised students to take advantage of their proximity to Rhode Island’s elected officials.

The date is etched clearly into his mind — Jan. 6, 2021, marked the moment when U.S. Rep. Seth Magaziner knew he would run for Congress.

Magaziner, then serving as Rhode Island’s general treasurer, got a call about the siege on the United States Capitol from the state police colonel. Due to the violence in Washington, D.C., the colonel said, he planned to send several state troopers to keep watch over Magaziner and several other Rhode Island elected officials. 

“I had this surreal experience of watching a violent mob… storming the Capitol, attacking police officers to try to stop the counting of votes under our Constitution, while state police cruisers were circling outside my house,” the congressman said in a Tuesday, April 11, conversation at Brown University. “I thought, okay, this is what I want to do: I want to be on the front lines of trying to protect our democracy. This is the fight of our generation: to make sure we preserve our democracy, to make sure that there’s accountability for those who would attack our democracy… so that people can have faith in our democratic system of government going forward.”

Magaziner, a Class of 2006 Brown graduate who is three months into his first term representing Rhode Island’s second congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives, spoke during a wide-ranging conversation co-hosted by the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy and the Brown Democrats, a student-run organization. Held at Brown’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, the event was Magaziner’s first appearance at Brown since taking office, and it drew dozens of students and Providence-area residents.