Pro-Trump groups plan more weekend rallies at Washington state Capitol
Ahead of the Washington state legislative session starting Monday, multiple right wing groups are planning protests at the Capitol steps on Sunday.
The demonstrations come days after pro-Trump mobs raided the United States Capitol building in Washington D.C.
Tyler Miller, of Liberty At All Hazards, had been planning his Sunday rally at the Washington State Capitol long before Wednesday’s historic attack on the U.S. Congress.
The plan was called "Legislative Lockdown" and involved people camping outside of the state legislative building in hopes to get inside with lawmakers. One of the organizers helping Miller is Matt Marshall with Washington Three Percent, another right wing group.
“We never wanted anybody to be breaking down doors, breaking windows, forcing their way in, harassing, or intimidating people,” Marshall said. "We just wanted to occupy and say, ‘we're here because we want to get inside and participate in the process.’”
Following that exact kind of assault of the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, Miller and Marshall called off their planned events.
“The decision was based on multiple groups that it sounds like are trying to hijack what we're doing and make it a much more militant, confrontational event,” Marshall said. "And we just didn't want to be a part of that.”
In a Facebook Live video posted Wednesday night on the Liberty At All Hazards page, Miller said he decided to “pull back from this plan” out of concerns that people could show up and incite violence.
Miller then immediately says, however, that he will instead be supporting “the other rallies that are going to be happening at the Capitol both this week and in the future.” He continued to give those event details and added their event pages to his group’s main Facebook page.
“There's going to be some great speakers at that,” Miller said of one of the rallies.
Marshall, on the other hand, said he will not be in Olympia this weekend and said he would be picking up a shift at work instead.
“There's always a chance that there are people that decide to go ahead anyway that are very militant,” Marshall said.
On Wednesday, the same day as the assault on the national Capitol, armed pro-Trump activists broke their way onto the grounds of Governor Jay Inslee’s mansion and chanted outside his door. Police cleared the area but no arrests were made.
Marshall says he hopes he doesn’t see something like that happen again, but it’s impossible to control everyone who shows up to these rallies.
“As far as am I concerned about violence? Maybe,” he said. "Maybe there's some violence out there.”
Late Friday afternoon, Inslee said he would be activating up to 750 members of the National Guard to be on hand when the Legislature convenes.
"[I]n light of the most recent insurrection activity, the state cannot tolerate any actions that could result in harm, mayhem or interruption of function of democratic institutions. Any illegal intrusion of the Capitol, state buildings or restricted areas will not be tolerated and strictly enforced," Inslee said in a written statement.
He added that there will be "acres of areas" for people to demonstrate on the Capitol Campus.
This post has been updated.