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

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death of North Saanich likely first in B.C. for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Sidney's Beacon Wharf
Pontoon company piqued at prospect of public-private partnership around Sidney wharf

Seagate approached to submit proposeal for public-private partnership

Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $10.25 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $8.65 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
The five most expensive homes for sale in Greater Victoria

A roundup of luxury estates currently on the market

Jimmy Fallon joked that a woman’s 4.5-star review of a Langford jail is “the most Canadian thing you could do” in The Tonight Show Jan. 21. (Screenshot/YouTube)
VIDEO: Jimmy Fallon jokes Canadian jails are basically hotels following woman’s 4.5-star review

Woman gave handwritten card to police following stay in Langford cells

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance at Saanich staff meeting

Sidney firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

More than 100 B.C. fishermen, fleet leaders, First Nations leaders and other salmon stakeholders are holding a virtual conference Jan. 21-22 to discuss a broad-range of issues threatening the commercial salmon fishery. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. commercial salmon fishermen discuss cures for an industry on the brink

Two-day virtual conference will produce key reccomendations for DFO

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Most Read