Although the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol has continued to dominate headlines, a growing number of protests in support of the outgoing POTUS have also taken place outside statehouses in Utah, Georgia, Washington state, Oregon, Nevada, and more. The nationwide demonstrations resulted in at least two evacuations and have prompted some local authorities to implement curfews out of concern for public safety.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox ordered staffers to go home Wednesday, as the pro-Trump demonstration outside the State Capitol became increasingly bigger—reportedly drawing up to 400 people. Cox, who was sworn into office just this week, released a video statement urging the public to remain peaceful during the protest and also condemned the violent clashes that took place in Washington, D.C.
“… To any of you out there who are considering joining those protests I ask you to please do so but please do so in the right way,” he said. “To do so loud to do so proud but to do so in a respectful manner and by no means resort to violence or property destruction.”
Cox said the Utah demonstrations have been generally peaceful; however, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall took to Twitter to condemn the rally participant who allegedly pepper-sprayed a Tribune photographer.
There were also multiple pro-Trump rallies in Southern California, including a demonstration outside the Los Angeles Police Department’s headquarters and near City Hall in downtown. According to FOX LA, the latter rally was declared an “unlawful assembly.”
The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed a physical confrontation ensued between Trump supporters and counter-protestors, some of whom were taken into custody.
According to the Assocaited Press, the New Mexico Statehouse was mostly evacuated Wednesday as hundreds of demonstrators gathered on the grounds. Though there was no signs of unrest or indication of threats, state police reportedly ordered staffers to leave the building as a safety precaution.
Hundreds of Trump supporters also gathered outside the Washington state capitol in Olympia, before dozens broke through the gates of the governor’s mansion. Authorities told KIRO7 that the crowd wasn’t able to get through the mansion’s doors and was removed from the grounds shortly after. A spokesperson for Gov. Jay Inslee said the lawmaker and his family were not harmed and are now in a safe location.
The demonstration in Salem, Oregon, was among Wednesday’s more turbulent rallies. As reported by the Statesman Journal, hundreds of people gathered outside the Oregon State Capitol for a protest that became increasingly violent as more and more people, including counter-protestors, arrived at the scene.
Local outlets report that the Oregon State Police declared the demonstration an unlawful assembly and ordered rally-goers to disperse. Law enforcement confirmed at least one person was arrested during the protest for harassment and disorderly conduct.
“We wanted to stand with our patriot brothers and sisters that are standing in D.C.,” said Portland resident Ana Drouin, a member of Oregon Women for Trump. “We wanted to make sure that every capitol had a showing of people so that they could know, ‘Yeah, we’ve got millions in D.C. but there are still thousands of people in every state that care about what happened.'”
A day after Democrats won Georgia’s pivotal runoff elections, a group of Trump loyalists gathered outside the state Capitol in Atlanta. The Washington Post reporter Amy Gardner described some of the demonstrators as “militia,” and reported Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was evacuated from the Capitol.
Other pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” rallies were staged in Phoenix; Denver; Lansing, Michigan; Madison, Wisconsin; Columbia, South Carolina; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Carson City, Nevada.
President-elect Biden condemned the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, and called on President Trump to “demand an end to this siege.”
“At this hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault, unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times,” Biden said. “Let me be very clear: The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect the true America, do not represent who we are. I’m genuinely shocked and saddened that our nation, so long a beacon of hope and light for democracy, has come to such a dark moment. America’s about honor, decency, respect, tolerance. That’s who we are. That’s who we’ve always been.”