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States Also See Protests — And Angry Responses — To D.C. Violence

Several state capitols saw pro-Trump protests today, too, though none of them were nearly as violent as the mob at the U.S. Capitol.

Some legislatures closed public access to their capitols as a precaution. That was the case in Georgia, when armed protesters gathered outside the capitol there. Georgia's secretary of state was pressured by President Trump to overturn presidential election results.

In Kansas, protesters briefly occupied the capital building, but authorities said they had a permit to be there.

Rallies were also reported in Idaho, Michigan and California, among others. While police reported some skirmishes, most gatherings were peaceful.

The worst scenes may have been in Salem, Ore., where right-wing "Proud Boys" clashed with left-wing protesters, using smoke bombs and even a rapid-fire paint ball rifle. State police declared an "unlawful assembly"; police there have been dealing with repeated clashes between right- and left-wing protesters there in recent weeks.

In other states, so-called "Stop The Steal" rallies, which make unfounded claims of election fraud, were more peaceful, and mostly outdoors. KJZZ reporter Jimmy Jenkins captured a subdued atmosphere in Phoenix, following President Trump's video statement calling on his supporters to go home.

The news of the violence in Washington may also have taken the wind out of some of the protests. Some of the Trump supporters have played down the severity of what happened, while others have already started trading in new conspiracy theories — particularly the notion that the mob's attack on the U.S. Capitol was somehow instigated by the "Deep State" or Antifa.

Many state officials have condemned the events in Washington. Alaska's Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy tweeted "Republicans are the party of law & order. These few extremists do not represent our values." Georgia's Brian Kemp, a Republican whom Trump recently turned against, retweeted video of Trump supporters confronting police inside the Capitol, calling it "absolutely disgraceful," and adding, "The rule of law matters."

In Seattle, one of the cities the president criticized for allowing "anarchy" during anti-police protests last summer, Mayor Jenny Durkan issued a statement calling the incident a "coup attempt."

"The values of our American Democracy are stronger than the hate and division promoted by one man, even if he is the President," the statement reads, and concludes, "We will have a full transition of power and removal of this President. President-Elect Biden will be inaugurated in two weeks."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Martin Kaste is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk. He covers law enforcement and privacy. He has been focused on police and use of force since before the 2014 protests in Ferguson, and that coverage led to the creation of NPR's Criminal Justice Collaborative.