This is not what the community expected or deserved. An apology would have been appropriate, and this does not qualify as one. And as Monica said, "citation[s] needed" for a great deal of this post.
I was officially inactive for several days on my sites while most of this unfolded. When I returned on Monday evening, I found one of the most valuable members of the SE network unceremoniously tossed to the curb, with no notice or meaningful opportunity to respond, and everything on fire. I took the time to read everything I could on the public sites, mod team site, and various mod chats before reaching the conclusion that I needed to resign my diamonds and walk away from roles I loved and responsibilities I took seriously.
The evidence I have seen rebuts at least the following statements in your post:
Last week we made an important decision for our community.
This is partially accurate. You did make the decision for the communities in the sense of taking away agency and autonomy. Not so much in terms of making a decision for the benefit of, much less with input from, said communities.
We removed a moderator for repeatedly violating our existing Code of Conduct...
I have seen no evidence of this whatsoever. The evidence I have seen is clear that Monica was trying to determine how to comply with the vaguely-described, proposed, future CoC, not violate it, that she did so in private contexts, and that she did so respectfully.
and being unwilling to accept our CM’s repeated requests to change the behavior.
I have seen no evidence of this whatsoever. Quite the opposite.
We recognize it has caused concern in the community as a whole.
To put it bluntly, I don't think you do. This kind of boilerplate "sorry you were upset by our decision" non-apology indicates to me that you have no idea how much damage has already occurred.
We made a hard decision, and we stand by that decision.
Not false, perhaps, but a grave error.
We have a policy for users, but this is the first time we’ve had to suspend a moderator for a Code of Conduct violation.
Unless memory fails me or the official explanation of certain past incidents is something other than the CoC, I do not believe this is accurate. (Edit: the OP keeps getting edited, but your statement is incorrect regardless of whether it says “suspend” or “remove.”)
We learned (or were painfully reminded, rather) to never ship at 6 PM (EDT) on a Friday. We didn’t follow that rule last week and as a result there was a lot of confusion over the weekend.
The “confusion” has nothing to do with the fact that this happened just before a weekend. Blaming the widespread reaction to your decision entirely on timing indicates either a complete failure to comprehend the situation or utter indifference to how the communities affected feel.
People aren't upset because you made a decision at 6 PM on a Friday. Nor are they upset solely because you did so right before a major, religious holiday that the person most directly affected observes by going offline.* They're upset that you removed a popular, highly respected, professional, competent, and extremely kind and decent person from multiple moderator positions simply because she didn't agree to toe the line on a still-unpublished policy without at least asking some questions. And on top of that, you disregarded your official, published, community-vetted process for moderator removals.
I have not always agreed with Monica on everything, but she has always been among the kindest, most respectful, all-around best moderators on the entire network. Even when we didn't see eye-to-eye, I respected her take and always felt that I was treated respectfully. I have seen nothing whatsoever that could justify how I have seen her treated.
We do value every one of you.
Again, to be blunt, I think I speak for many people when I say that I don't believe this anymore. The evidence strongly indicates quite the opposite.
We’ve seen your pings on chat and on the network and have been actively working to get you answers as soon as possible.
6-8 isn't going to cut it. The response so far has been unapologetic, dogmatic, boilerplated, and slow. At this point, I'm personally disinclined to participate at all on these sites if this is how the communities can expect to be treated.
* But, to be clear, that timing was appallingly inappropriate and insensitive, and people are very upset about it, with good reason.