Some Republicans in Congress are challenging the ratification of Democrat Joe Biden’s Electoral College win on Wednesday.
Predominantly peaceful protesters backing President Trump gathered at state capitol buildings around the country Wednesday, in a contrast to the mobs that overran police in Washington and disrupted Congresss debate over certifying the Electoral College vote.
But authorities across the nation were on high alert as chaos unfolded in Washington.
In Santa Fe, New Mexico, state lawmakers and staff were told by authorities to leave the capitol building as a pro-Trump protesters gathered outside. Some legislators were working remotely but others were in the building at the time, including the Democratic Speaker of the House, Brian Egolf, his spokesman said.
New Mexico State Police recommended that everyone in the building who didn’t have to be there leave, according to an email from the capitol building superintendent sent to legislators and their staff.
In Sacramento, dozens of police, some in riot gear, guarded the grounds of the California State Capitol and closed surrounding streets. Some arrests were made as skirmishes erupted between protesters and counter-protesters as police attempted to keep the groups separate, according to tweets from Sacramento Police. By about 2 p.m., most of the crowd had dispersed, the department said.
Gov. Gavin Newsom canceled a planned update on Californias Covid-19 response, out of an abundance of caution to ensure the safety of Governors Office staff, his office said in a statement.
At the Arizona state capitol in Phoenix, several hundred people gathered for a pro-Trump event Wednesday. Some were armed with military-style rifles, according to published photos, while others carried Trump flags and handmade posters decrying November’s election results as fraudulent.
A guillotine was set up at the capitol grounds. In a photo shared on Twitter, armed men are seen standing around the apparatus.
Law-enforcement officers secured security fencing around the Georgia state capitol in Atlanta. Shortly before 5 p.m., only a small handful of pro-Trump protesters could be seen near the capitol. The governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the Georgia House were set to address security issues later Wednesday.
In Austin, a crowd of Trump supporters, many of them armed, gathered in front of the Capitol.
Members of the far-right group Patriot Prayer spoke at a Pro-Trump rally at the Washington statehouse in Olympia.
In Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered increased security at the capitol in Springfield.
In Kansass capital city Topeka, supporters of President Trump gathered inside the statehouse. Lt. Terry Golightly, a spokesman for the Kansas Capitol Police, said the protestors had requested a permit.
“They were in there during their allotted time.” he said.
In Minnesota, hundreds of pro-Trump protesters showed up at the state Capitol in St. Paul, where state troopers in tactical gear were stationed. As the crowd marched to the governors mansion, Gov. Tim Walz canceled an in-person press conference about the states Covid-19 response and streamed it virtually instead.
The situation here is calm and stable, Mr. Walz said. Eyes are on whats happening in D.C. but…the Minnesota way of doing things is still stable.
–Alicia A. Caldwell, Erin Ailworth, Elizabeth Findell, Alejandro Lazo and Cameron McWhirter contributed to this post.