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article imagePro-Trump protests targeted state capitols across the U.S.

By Karen Graham     Jan 7, 2021 in Politics
While pro-Trump protests in Washington D.C. turned into what many lawmakers are calling an act of insurrection and an attack on Democracy on Wednesday, across the nation, protesters, some of them armed, descended on statehouses from California to Georgia.
Apparently, supporters of President Donald Trump took him at his word Wednesday, gathering in front of state capitol buildings, sometimes going inside - protesting the certification of the Electoral College vote going on in Washington.
In Sacramento, California, the capitol building was closed early after Trump supporters began gathering. Police reported that a skirmish between two groups of protesters had to be broken up. California Governor Gavin Newsom canceled a scheduled coronavirus news conference to keep his staff safe.
The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that around 400 Trump loyalists gathered on Utah's capitol grounds in Salt Lake City Wednesday. The Utah protest was close to being peaceful, although it was marred by several skirmishes or threatened confrontations with a small group of Black Lives Matter counter-protesters.
One man was escorted off the premises by members of the Proud Boys and Utah Citizens Alarm (UCA) armed with bats and guns. A Tribune photographer was pepper-sprayed by protesters in an unprovoked attack that the Mayor of Salt Lake City, Erin Mendenhall, said was “An assault on a journalist is an attack on freedom of press and democracy. This is unacceptable, and should not be allowed to go unchecked."
In Georgia, about 100 protesters, some armed with long guns, gathered outside the state capitol in Atlanta to protest Trump's election loss. It was reported that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had left the statehouse after hearing reports of threats.
Gabriel Sterling, an elections official, said Wednesday that the decision to leave was a decision to have his team evacuate the premises was made by Raffensperger. “We saw stuff happening at the Georgia Capitol and said we should not be around here, we should not be a spark,” Sterling said.
In Washington State, Governor Jay Inslee and his family were moved to a secure location after protesters broke into the grounds of the governor's mansion in Olympia, according to the state police. Inslee released a statement earlier in the day condemning the violence that exploded in the nation's capital.
Meanwhile, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Texas closed their state legislative buildings and, in some cases, evacuated the employees as demonstrations grew in support of President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly made baseless claims challenging the legitimacy of the election results.
More about protrump supporters, Democracy, state capitols, Peaceful protests
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