On Wednesday across the country, hundreds of pro-Trump demonstrators gathered in state capitals to oppose President-elect Joe Biden’s win. They massed outside statehouses, rallying while rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
From Georgia to New Mexico to Oklahoma, crowds of people carried signs emblazoned “My vote was stolen!” and “Stop the steal” and waved Trump and U.S. flags. The heated demonstrations broke out as Congress tried to affirm Biden’s Electoral College victory.
In some states, officials have ordered closures and evacuations in the face of armed demonstrators. In Colorado, city agencies in Denver closed buildings. In Georgia, the secretary of state and his staff evacuated their offices at the state Capitol. Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has been the target of President Trump’s fury over his loss in the state by nearly 12,000 votes. (In the midst of demonstrations, Democratic senators cinched Georgia’s Senate runoff.)
Trump has encouraged the protests over the past two days. On Wednesday, after hours of chaos, he tweeted a taped video message calling for his supporters to retreat (“You have to go home now”) while claiming baseless election fraud (“We had an election that was stolen from us”).