Armed supporters of President Trump descended on state capitals nationwide on Sunday as members of the anti-government Boogaloo Boys brandished semi-automatic weapons near the Michigan State Capitol while Washington, DC, was turned into a fortress.
The nation’s capital looks like a military zone with National Guard and local police setting up checkpoints and a huge perimeter outside the US Capitol building just 10 days after it was stormed by MAGA rioters.
Despite the heavy military presence, a 22-year-old Virginia man was arrested for possession of three high capacity magazines, 37 rounds of unregistered ammunition, and a Glock gun near the US Capitol on Sunday while a Connecticut woman was detained for impersonating a police officer as the nation’s capital remains on high alert in the days leading up to Wednesday’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Meanwhile, Starbucks has shut down all of its New York City locations on Sunday – reportedly for fear of protests – while security was beefed up around State Capitols nationwide.
Mike Dunn, second from left, and other members of the Boogaloo Boys movement, pose for photos with their semi-automatic rifles, days ahead of President-elect Joe Biden inauguration, in Richmond, Virginia on Sunday
Virginia National Guard soldiers are seen standing watch on the National Mall on Sunday, three days before the inauguration
National Guard members receive guns and ammunition outside the United States Capitol building ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. Police in Washington, DC, arrested a man early on Sunday morning for illegal possession of a firearm. On Saturday, a Connecticut woman was arrested for impersonating a police officer
Members of the armed anti-government ‘Boogaloo Bois’ militia are seen above outside the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, on Sunday
Police in riot gear monitor activity outside the Pennsylvania Capitol Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Sunday
A member of the Boogaloo Boys is seen above near the statehouse in Salem, Oregon, on Sunday
Armed protesters are seen above outside the Utah State Capitol building in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sunday
Armed members of the Boogaloo movement are seen above talking to people in front of the State Capitol in Concord, New Hampshire, on Sunday
Armed groups supporting President Trump hold a rally in front of a closed Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Sunday
In Michigan, armed protesters began gathering outside the State Capitol in Lansing on Sunday. About 20 protesters, among them members of the anti-government Boogaloo movement, were seen outside the statehouse just after noon – with the numbers expected to grow.
At around 3pm, however, many of the protesters began to leave the area. At its peak, there were about 100 armed protesters, though they were outnumbered by police from several departments, the National Guard, and members of the news media, according to the Lansing State Journal.
‘It has all stayed peaceful,’ Lansing Mayor Andy Schor said.
‘That’s tremendous … to make sure that people could exercise their first and second amendment rights without any violence or conflict.’
The small group of demonstrators, some armed, stood near a chain-link fence surrounding the building as state police walked the grounds and National Guard vehicles were parked nearby.
Washington, DC, police said they noticed Guy Berry, 22, of Gordonsville, Virginia, walking on the 200 block of Massachusetts Avenue NE just after midnight on Sunday with a gun ‘clearly visible’ in a holster.
When he was questioned, police determined that Berry was legally permitted to carry a handgun in the District of Columbia. He was arrested and charged with carrying a pistol without a license, possession of a large-capacity ammunition feeding device, and unregistered ammunition.
A day earlier, Linda Magovern, 63, of Stratford, Connecticut, reportedly approached US Capitol Police officers at an inauguration checkpoint on First and Columbus Circle in Northeast Washington, DC, at around 8:45am.
Trump supporters Robert Marvin (left) and Becky Strohmeier (right) sit outside the Capitol building in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Sunday during a nationwide protest called by anti-government and far-right groups supporting President Trump and his claim of electoral fraud in the November 3 presidential election
A Boogaloo militia member is seen above standing in front of the State Capitol in Concord, New Hampshire, on Sunday
The image above shows heaviy armed officers standing outside the Georgia Capitol building in Atlanta, Georgia, on Sunday
Conservation Officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources walk to the Minnesota Capitol building before a gathering of Trump supporters outside the Capitol building in St. Paul on Sunday
According to police, Magovern showed officers a military police challenge coin while claiming that she was part of law enforcement and a member of the presidential cabinet.
Police then instructed Magovern to put her car in park and turn off the engine, according to WUSA-TV.
When one of the officers asked Magovern to show her driver’s license, she allegedly began driving forward.
Officers then repeatedly asked her to stop the vehicle.
Magovern is then alleged to have fled northbound on Columbus Circle. She was eventually stopped in front of 50 Massachusetts Avenue and arrested.
She has been charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer and fleeing from police.
Before she was booked by Capitol Police, Magovern was taken to United Medical Center in Washington, D.C. for evaluation.
Police and National Guard troops stood sentry at newly fortified statehouses Sunday ahead of demonstrations planned for the leadup to Biden’s inauguration, as authorities worked to deter a repeat of the recent riot that overran the US Capitol.
Armed demonstrators walk outside of the Michigan state capital building in Lansing on Sunday
The protesters are members of the anti-government militia known as the Boogaloo Boys
The armed demonstrators braved the cold weather to stage a demonstration just after noon on Sunday in Lansing
One of the protesters seen alongside the Boogaloo Boys is wearing a Black Lives Matter sweater in Lansing, Michigan, on Sunday
Another protester holds an anti-Trump sign outside the State Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, on Sunday
According to local media in Lansing, there were about 100 protesters, though they were outnumbered by police and National Guard personnel
Two men with rifles are seen above standing outside the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, on Sunday
Michigan State Police are seen above outside of the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, on Sunday
Michigan State Police are seen above walking into the House Office building ahead of a protest in Lansing on Sunday
Members of the Michigan National Guard are positioned outside of the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, on Sunday
Members of the Michigan State Police are seen above preparing to deploy at the State Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, on Sunday
Michigan National Guard vehicles move into position outside the State Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, on Sunday
Members of the Michigan National Guard stand guard outside the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, on Sunday
Members of the Michigan National Guard are positioned outside the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, on Sunday
Michigan National Guard members are seen above taking positions outside the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing on Sunday
A pro-Trump demonstrator is pictured above holding a Besty Ross-era American flag that is often brandished by members of far-right, anti-government militia members in Lansing, Michigan, on Sunday
Pro-Trump demonstrators are seen above staging a protest outside the State Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, on Sunday
Michigan State Police stand by as pro-Trump demonstrators wave flags during a protest near the State Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, on Sunday
A few protesters were starting to gather in some cities, but streets in many others remained empty.
About two dozen people, several carrying long guns, protested outside the Ohio Statehouse, observed by several of the dozens of state troopers positioned around the building.
Several dozen people – some carrying American flags – gathered at South Carolina’s Statehouse.
Tall fencing also now surrounds the US Capitol, the National Mall is closed to the general public, and the District of Columbia’s mayor asked people not to visit.
Some 25,000 National Guard troops from around the country were due in the city in the coming days.
The stepped-up security measures were intended to safeguard seats of government from the type of violence that occurred at the US Capitol on January 6, when a supporters of President Donald Trump swarmed the building while Congress was certifying the Electoral College vote.
The FBI has warned of the potential for armed protests at the nation’s Capitol and all 50 state capitol buildings beginning this weekend.
The protests are part of nationwide demonstrations staged by supporters of President Trump
A member of the Boogaloo Boys displays his clip of live rounds as he and others demonstrate outside the statehouse in Concord
New Hampshire State Police are seen above near the State Capitol building in Concord, New Hampshire, on Sunday
There did not appear to be any incidents during the small-scale demonstrations in Concord on Sunday
Some social media messages had targeted Sunday for demonstrations, though it remained unclear how many people might show up.
Authorities in some states said they had no specific indication that demonstrations would occur, much less turn violent.
Yet many state officials vowed to be prepared, just in case.
They said they did not want a repeat of the mob’s assault, which left left a Capitol Police officer and four others dead.
In recent days, more than 125 people have been arrested on charges related to the insurrection.
In some locations, a small number of people showed up intending to counter protests, even in places where they had not yet materialized.
One counter-protester came early to greet any demonstrators at the Pennsylvania Capitol, saying he had heard about the possibility of a meet-up of a far-right militant group.
But no one else was there.
‘I’m fundamentally against the potential protesters coming here to delegitimize the election, and I don’t want to be passive in expressing my disapproval of them coming into this city,’ Stephen Rzonca said.
Wisconsin National Guard troops armed with rifles, shields and body armor arrived near the state Capitol on Sunday morning.
A man who drove a vehicle up the steps of the Capitol building was arrested overnight for driving while intoxicated.
More than a third of governors had called out the National Guard to help protect their state capitols and aid local law enforcement officers.
National Guard members patrol outside the Pennsylvania State Capitol building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Sunday
A Trump supporter uses a megaphone during a protest outside the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Sunday
Local political activist Gene Stilp (right) pulls down a cut-out Trump while staging an anti-Trump demonstration in front of the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg on Sunday
A protester carries a crossbow outside the capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Sunday afternoon
A supporter of President Trump is seen above outside the Pennsylvania Capitol Building in Harrisburg on Sunday
Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard patrol the State Capitol building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Sunday
A supporter of President Trump is seen right wearing a mask that reads ‘Don’t tread on me’ outside the State Capitol building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Sunday
Members of the Capitol Police are adorned in riot gear as they stand outside the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg on Sunday
Pennsylvania Capitol Police on horseback patrol the State Capitol building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Sunday
National Guard soldiers are seen above standing outside the State Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky, on Sunday
A sign notifying the public that the capitol grounds are closed is seen at the Capitol Building in Frankfort, Kentucky, on Sunday
A member of the Boogaloo Boys speaks to the media at the Capitol Building in Frankfort, Kentucky, on Sunday
Several governors issued states of emergency, and others closed their capitols to the public until after Biden’s inauguration day.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said in a statement Sunday that law enforcement officers ‘will protect the rights of peaceful demonstrators but will also vigorously resist any violence.’
Some state legislatures also canceled sessions or pared back their work for the coming week, citing security precautions.
Even before the violence at the US Capitol, some statehouses had been the target of vandals and angry protesters during the past year.
Last spring, armed protesters entered the Michigan Capitol to object to coronavirus-related lockdowns and were confronted by police.
People angered over the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck for several minutes, vandalized capitols in several states, including Colorado, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin.
Members of the Georgia National Guard take positions outside the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on Sunday
The State Capitol in Atlanta was the site of several ‘stop the steal’ protests in the days and weeks following the November 3 election
Members of the Devine Deliverance Life Center pray in front of Georgia National Guard troops guarding the State Capitol in Atlanta on Sunday
Two men who identified as being members of the Constitutional Brigade speak to Georgia National Guard troops as they protect the perimeter of the Georgia State Capitol building in Atlanta on Sunday
Protesters gather outside the Utah State Capitol building in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sunday
Utah National Guard soldiers are seen above patrolling the Utah State Capitol building in Salt Lake City on Sunday
Utah National Guardsmen walk near the Utah State Capitol building in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sunday
The FBI has warned of the potential for armed protests at the nation’s Capitol and all 50 state capitol buildings beginning this weekend. A National Guardsman is seen above outside the State Capitol building in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sunday
And just last month, crowds in Oregon forced their way into the state Capitol in Salem to protest its closure to the public during a special legislative session on coronavirus measures.
Anticipating the potential for violence in the coming week, the building’s first floor windows were boarded up and the National Guard has been deployed.
The Legislature was scheduled to begin its 2021 session on Tuesday, but much of its initial work has been delayed for at least two days because of warnings about potential violence.
‘The state Capitol has become a fortress,’ said Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat.
‘I never thought I’d see that; it breaks my heart.’