A guillotine outside the Arizona state capital. A Democratic governor burned in effigy in Oregon. Lawmakers were evacuated as pro-Trump crowds gathered in the state capitals of Georgia and New Mexico. Cheers in Idaho as a crowd taught their fellow citizens to “take over the Capitol” and “take out” Mike Pence, the vice president.
As a crowd of thousands stormed the U.S. capital on January 6, Trump supporters threatened lawmakers and fellow citizens in cities across the country. Compared to the violent crowd in Washington, pro-Trump crowds elsewhere in the country were much smaller, drawing tens to hundreds of people. But they used the same extreme rhetoric, labeling both Democratic politicians and Republicans perceived to be disloyal to Trump “traitors.”
As the FBI warns of plans for further armed protests in Washington and all 50 state capitals in the days leading up to Biden’s inauguration, and Fresh With calls for extreme violence circulating on social media forums, the intensity of nationwide pro-Trump protests and attacks last week offers evidence of what could happen next.
Some of Wednesday’s pro-Trump protests did not turn violent. The dozens of Trump supporters who entered the Kansas state capital remained peaceful, according to multiple news reports. In Carson City, Nevada, hundreds of Trump supporters drank beer and listened to rock music while denouncing the election results, the Reno Gazette Journal reported.
But in Los Angeles, white Trump supporters assaulted and ripped the wig off the head of a young black woman who had passed their January 6 protest, the Los Angeles Times reported. A white woman was caught on video holding the wig and shouting “Fuck BLM!” and, “I did the first scalping of the New Civil War. “
In Ohio and Oregon, fighting erupted between counter-protesters and members of the Proud Boys, with the neo-fascist group Trump ordered in September to “step back and stand by”. Proud Boys also reportedly demonstrated at Utah, California, Florida, and Caroline from the south.
And in Washington state, Trump supporters, some armed, walked through the governor’s mansion gate and stormed the lawn of Democrat Jay Inslee’s home. In Georgia, where lawmakers were evacuated of the state capital, members of the III% Security forces militia, a group known for its anti-Muslim activism, had gathered outside.
Members of the militia, neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremists have discussed several potential dates for armed protests in the coming days, according to researchers who monitor extremist groups, with proposals ranging from rallies or attacks on state capitals to a “Million Militia March” in Washington. .
FBI Intelligence Bulletin warned of possible armed protests from January 16 “at least” until inauguration day on January 20, but researchers say the energy has yet to come together around a single event. Public forums on social media where Trump supporters have gathered to discuss the plans are full of dramatic and contradictory rumors, but experts say more concrete plans are likely being made in private and in smaller forums that are more difficult to infiltrate.
The United States has no shortage of heavily armed extremists who have openly called for a new civil war, from members of Boogaloo Bois – a nascent national terror group that has been linked to the murders of two law enforcement officers – to militia leaders such as Stewart Rhodes, the Yale-trained founder of an anti-government group that recruits political and military officers, who was pictured outside the capital during the crowd invasion last week.
Charges at public protests that Democratic politicians are dictators, tyrants and “traitors” and suggestions that white Americans need to take power back from their elected officials have been escalating for more than a year, fueled in part by furious protests against public health measures that have forced businesses to shut down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which has disproportionately killed black and Latino residents.
Before storming the United States Capitol last week, angry crowds of white Americans, some armed with guns, staged chaotic protests in state capitals of Michigan, Idaho, and South America. California and elsewhere, often labeling law enforcement officers “traitors” when they wouldn’t let them through.
On January 6, news that Trump supporters were making their way into the capital was greeted with cheers during pro-Trump protests in other states. “The Patriots have stormed the Capitol,” announced an organizer of the protest in Arizona, prompting chants of “USA!” According to the Republic of Arizona.
“Apparently they’re taking the Capitol and taking out Pence,” the organizer of a protest in Idaho told a crowd of about 300, according to the spokesperson-Review. The crowd applauded.
In Washington DC, part of the capital’s crowd was captured on video shouting “Hang on Mike Pence!” After the vice president refused to give in to repeated demands from Trump to deny the election results and name him the winner.
Signs and rhetoric related to QAnon’s conspiracy theory that Trump is waging a covert war against a powerful, elite pedophile ring, were present at several state events last week.
In Salem, Oregon, where an effigy of Democratic Governor Kate Brown was tar and plucked before being burned, the protest outside State House turned violent, as The Proud Boys clashed with counter-protesters. In Colorado, about 700 people gathered in the state capital to protest, many not wearing masks, and the mayor of Denver ad he closed municipal buildings early as a precaution.
In Arizona, where 1,000 Trump supporters gathered to protest Biden’s certification of victory, the guillotine outside the state capital carried a Trump flag, and the Trump supporters who brought it gave a reporter from the Republic of Arizona a written statement, which included a list. unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud; and requests for new fraud audits and investigations.
“Why do we have a guillotine with us? The answer is simple, ”the statement read. “For six weeks, Americans wrote emails, gathered peacefully, made phone calls and begged their elected officials to listen to their concerns. We have been ignored, ridiculed, despised, rejected, lied, ridiculed and basically told, no one cares.
“We pray for peace,” the statement concluded, “but we are not afraid of war”.