Trump Supporters Spread Chaos to State Capitals
Mother Jones illustration; Getty
Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.In the midst of the unprecedented assault on the United States Capitol by Trump supporters, where at least one person has been shot and reportedly died, protests by pro-Trump sympathizers have also erupted in several other cities across the United States.
A speech by President Donald Trump to his supporters—after months of trafficking in election conspiracy theories and baseless claims of election fraud—culminated in the storming of the Capitol building Wednesday afternoon. It took place while lawmakers inside had begun the official certification of electoral college votes for President-elect Joe Biden. A large group of protesters had gathered there following Trump’s speech, and eventually broke into the building, prompting the evacuation of members of the House and Senate.
As news of the takeover in Washington, DC, spread, likeminded pro-Trump demonstrators gathered in multiple cities across the US, including Salem, Austin, Sacramento, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Olympia, Columbus, and Topeka.
The Sacramento Police tweeted early in the afternoon: “Heavy police presence remains in the area of the Capitol. Some arrests have been made for individuals carrying pepper spray.” They also tweeted that reports of physical altercations between two groups of demonstrators have been reported, and that officers were attempting to keep the groups separate.
Heavy police presence remains in the area of the Capitol. Some arrests have been made for individuals carrying pepper spray. pic.twitter.com/PpMF8FgU9s
— Sacramento Police (@SacPolice) January 6, 2021
Far-right Trump supporters also gathered at the Oregon Capitol building in Salem to protest the certification. Oregon State Police tweeted early this morning that protesters were expected, and later reported a group of protesters were on the move throughout the city.
#trafficalert #salemoregon UPDATE at 1245: A spontaneous group has started to march eastbound on State ST from Riverfront Park. SPD is monitoring the activity. Motorists in the area should be aware of the pedestrian activity, or if at all possible avoid the area at this time. pic.twitter.com/GOOTWcvMtm
— Salem Police Department (@SalemPoliceDept) January 6, 2021
An estimated 300 people protested at the Texas Capitol building in Austin, but the building was closed shortly after protesters stormed the Capitol building in Washington, DC, according to the Texas Tribune. In Atlanta, the secretary of state’s office was also evacuated as a precaution, while armed protesters gathered outside the Capitol building.
Trump supporters also took to the streets in Los Angeles in a demonstration that was later declared an unlawful assembly.
#BREAKING Trump supporters rally in downtown Los Angeles, prompting LAPD to declare unlawful assemblyhttps://t.co/pvDF9qFCiw
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) January 6, 2021
In Olympia, Washington, a protest that started at the statehouse marched to Gov. Jay Inslee’s mansion where protesters broke onto the grounds.
Demonstrators in Olympia have broken through the gate in front of the governor’s mansion. pic.twitter.com/JQXx0SxSLJ
— Drew Mikkelsen (@drewmikkelsenk5) January 6, 2021
Inslee, who had earlier condemned the break-in at the US Capitol as “an attack on democracy itself,” reportedly left his besieged home after protesters arrived. He later retweeted a tweet from the Washington State Police.
The WSP is responding to protestors who have entered the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion.
The Governor and his family are in a safe location.
More information to follow.
— WA State Patrol (@wastatepatrol) January 6, 2021
In Columbus, Ohio, pro-Trump and Black Lives Matter protesters converged at the statehouse in a clash that devolved into violent skirmishes, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Mayor Andrew Ginther condemned the siege in DC, even a protesters gathered in his own city, tweeting, “What we are witnessing does not reflect the overwhelming will of our great country and cannot be allowed to interfere with peaceful transfer of power.”
Our democracy is under assault in our nation’s capital. Violent protests are never acceptable and must stop immediately. What we are witnessing does not reflect the overwhelming will of our great country and cannot be allowed to interfere with peaceful transfer of power.
— Mayor Andrew Ginther (@MayorGinther) January 6, 2021