Small groups of right-wing protesters — some of them carrying rifles — gathered outside heavily fortified statehouses around the country Sunday, outnumbered by National Guard troops and police brought in to prevent a repeat of the violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol. As darkness fell, there were no reports of any clashes.
Security was stepped up in recent days after the FBI warned of the potential for armed protests in Washington and at all 50 state capitol buildings ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
Crowds of only a dozen or two demonstrated at some boarded-up, cordoned-off statehouses, while the streets in many other capital cities remained empty. Some protesters said they were there to back President Donald Trump.
Others said they had instead come to voice their support for gun rights or decry government overreach.
US defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, prompting the FBI to vet all 25,000 national guard troops coming into Washington for the event.
The high security comes after a pro-Trump mob raided the Capitol building on Jan. 6 in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Biden’s election win. The riot resulted in at least five deaths, including a Capitol Police officer, and more than 125 arrests.
Categories: U.S. News