Gerald Williams attends a rally in support of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 in St. Paul, Minn. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP)

Gerald Williams attends a rally in support of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 in St. Paul, Minn. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP)

Protesters swarm Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s mansion, swarm Statehouses across U.S.

Hundreds of people gathered in state capitals nationwide to oppose President-elect Joe Biden’s win

Protesters backing President Donald Trump massed outside statehouses from Georgia to New Mexico on Wednesday, leading some officials to evacuate while cheers rang out at several demonstrations as a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Hundreds of people gathered in state capitals nationwide to oppose President-elect Joe Biden’s win, waving signs saying “Stop the steal” and “Four more years.” Most of them didn’t wear masks amid the coronavirus pandemic, and some carried guns in places like Oklahoma, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Washington state.

There were some scuffles in states like Ohio and California, with some instances of journalists or counterprotesters being pepper-sprayed or punched, but most demonstrations were peaceful — some of them quite small — and only a few arrests were reported.

New Mexico police evacuated staff as a precaution from a Statehouse building that includes the governor’s office and the secretary of state’s office, shortly after hundreds of flag-waving supporters arrived in a vehicle caravan and on horseback.

Demonstrators sang “God Bless America,” honked horns and wrongly announced on a megaphone that Trump was the rightful election winner — though Biden won the vote in New Mexico by a margin of roughly 11%.

“It’s the first time in the history of the United States that the peaceful transfer of power has been slowed by an act of violence,¨ Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf said. “It is a shameful moment, and I hope that the Congress can recover soon.”

ALSO READ: After excusing violence, Trump acknowledges Biden transition

Violent protests in Washington, D.C., came as Congress tried to affirm Biden’s Electoral College victory. News that protesters had breached the U.S. Capitol set off cheers at pro-Trump protests in Minnesota, Nevada and Arizona, where armed protesters marched at the Capitol in Phoenix and several men displayed a guillotine.

Georgia’s secretary of state and his staff evacuated their offices at the Capitol as about 100 protesters gathered outside, some armed with long guns.

Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his team decided to leave, according to Gabriel Sterling, a top official with Raffensperger’s office.

“We saw stuff happening at the Georgia Capitol and said we should not be around here, we should not be a spark,” Sterling told The Associated Press.

Trump has focused much of his ire on Raffensperger in the weeks following his loss by about 12,000 votes.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp slammed the storming of the U.S. Capitol, calling it “a disgrace and quite honestly un-American.” Kemp said he was extending an executive order from protests over the summer activating the National Guard in case they are needed to protect the state capitol on Monday when the legislative session begins.

In Washington state, protesters broke through a gate at the governor’s mansion and dozens of people gathered on the lawn for about 30 minutes before being cleared from the area. The crowd, some of whom were armed, repeated baseless allegations of election fraud. The State Patrol said that Gov. Jay Inslee “and his family are in a safe location.”

Earlier, dozens of people gathered at the state capitol, demanding a recount of the U.S. presidential election and Washington’s gubernatorial election, which Inslee, a Democrat, won by more than 500,000 votes. The Statehouse has been closed to the public for nearly a year due to the pandemic.

In Utah, the staff of Gov. Spencer Cox was sent home as several hundred people gathered in Salt Lake City, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson tweeted. Salt Lake Tribune photographer Rick Egan said he was pepper-sprayed by a demonstrator who taunted him for wearing a mask and shoved him as he was shooting video of the protest. It wasn’t immediately clear if anyone was arrested.

At least one person was arrested at the Oregon Capitol in Salem on suspicion of harassment and disorderly conduct as police in riot gear tried to get people — many of them armed — to leave.

Video showed protesters and counterprotesters clashing and riot police moving in. But by midafternoon, only a few dozen people remained, their American flags and Trump banners drooping in the rain.

In Topeka, Kansas, chants of “Stop the steal” and “No more masks” faded as a rally ended and Trump supporters filed peacefully into the Statehouse building through security checkpoints, milling around historical exhibits.

In Honolulu, about 100 protesters lined the road outside the state capitol waving American and Trump 2020 flags at passing cars. Sheryl Bieler, a retiree in the blue state, said she came out to “support our president and support the integrity of the elections.”

Trump supporters circled the state capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin, in cars and trucks adorned with Trump and U.S. flags for several hours Wednesday, blaring their horns.

In Colorado, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock ordered city agencies to close buildings after hundreds gathered in front of the Capitol building for a protest against the election results.

In South Carolina, protesters supporting Trump came to the Statehouse but left before the U.S. Capitol was breached.

Morgan Lee And Ben Nadler, The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press file photo)
Highway 3 cleared, open after vehicle incident

The road was closed for about three hours earlier on Jan. 18

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

The Premier Hotel on Summerland’s Main Street and the taxi were owned by Bill and Lydia Johnston. Today, the building is Sass Fashions in Summerland. H.S. Kenyon, who moved the building to Summerland from Midway, continued with building construction. His family now operates Greyback Construction. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Two former Summerland hotel buildings have been moved over the years

Transport of buildings is part of community’s history

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

A warrant was issued for Darwyn Sellars, 31, on Nov. 4, 2019, according to Black Press. (CrimeStoppers)
List of guilty pleas entered along with North Okanagan shootout

Sentencing delayed against Darwyn Sellars, who pleaded guilty to a rack of charges

Gin voices his view of having his photo taken as Ken and Karleen Kantymir pose with him and his brother Tonic. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep’s quirky antics keep Salmon Arm couple entertained

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Fire crews on scene of hot tub blaze. Michael Rodriguez, Kelowna Capital News.
Workers on concrete pump assist Kelowna homeowner battling hot tub fire

Home owners and neighbours fought the flames with a garden hose

(RCMP file photo)
Arrest made for break-in to the Penticton Herald

Police arrived to see blanket-wearing man holding computers

Most Read