Live Coverage: Pro-Trump protest at the Pa. Capitol

A view of the barricades in front of the Pa. Capitol building, Friday, 1/15/21 (Capital-Star photo by John L. Micek)

Stay here all day for continuous coverage from the Pennsylvania Capital-Star and across the States Newsroom network of protests at state capitols nationwide.

Live Feed

2 months ago

1:29 pm

‘It should have been over months ago’: Protest voices

By: Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso spoke to two people, Zack and his mother, Angela, who were walking past the Capitol on Sunday morning.

“So we take our daily sell or weekly Sunday trip up to [local coffee shop] Elementary, get a coffee and then like to stroll past the Capitol and whatnot,” Zack told the Capital-Star. “So as I was saying, as you can imagine, over the past two months, it’s been quite eventful on the Sundays when we walk by here, yeah, seeing anything from you know, church groups here with Trump flags to alarm militias here with Trump flags.

Zack told the Capital-Star that he was happy that it was a quiet Sunday morning.

“I’m happy with the way that this morning turned out the way that it obviously could have went as well,” he said. “It’s still never a good day to walk through your city and see, you know, military men in your streets and not being able to drive down your streets because there’s literally armored vehicles, you know, blocking it. So that’s not enjoyable.”

Still, he added, “For me I just think like that’s the saddest part is that since businesses have kind of been hard hurt, anyway, from pandemic like they have to close down just for the fear of something that could happen all because like I wish this had been over months ago, to be quite honest. It should have been over months ago.”

Last updated:7:44 am

2 months ago

12:47 pm

From the Wisconsin Examiner: The scene in Madison

By: John L. Micek

2 months ago

12:44 pm

More from Harrisburg – the scene on the ground

By: John L. Micek

A few pictures from the scene outside the state Capitol from other Pennsylvania news organizations.

 

 

2 months ago

12:40 pm

The scene in Michigan — security outnumbers protesters

By: John L. Micek

From our sibling site, the Michigan Advance: 

2 months ago

12:25 pm

‘I thought election day, votes come in, we decide the president’: Protest voices

By: Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso reports:

“I thought election day, votes come in, we decide the president,” Alex, a 34 year old Hershey resident told reporters. The only attendee, he said he normally runs through Harrisburg and stopped by with his dog Max and a “Fraud 2020” sweatshirt.

He said he was suspicious of how vote totals swung to Biden as ballots were counted.

Last updated:7:44 am

2 months ago

12:21 pm

Michigan GOP Senate leader advised militias on messaging, says they’ve gotten ‘a bad rap’

By: John L. Micek

From our sibling site, the Michigan Advance:

LANSING, Mich. — Just a month before 13 men were charged by state and federal law enforcement for a far-right plot to allegedly kidnap and execute Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) had a sitdown conversation with leaders of three Michigan-based militias.

“I was in Lansing and members — the leaders, the so-called leaders — of three of the groups met in my office and we talked about their messaging, their purpose, what they are trying to accomplish and how they could improve their message,” he told JTV host Bart Hawley in an interview on Sept. 10. “It was very fascinating and they’re not uniquely different than you and I. They bleed red, white and blue, but they feel like they are not being heard.”

He claimed in the interview that Michigan State Police assisted him identifying the militia leaders and that such a meeting “has never been done before.”

A spokesperson for Shirkey did not respond to a request for comment.

Michael Lackomar, team leader Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia team leader and spokesman said leadership from his group was not part of the meeting and he doesn’t have information on what groups were.

Read the full story here.

2 months ago

12:18 pm

A small counter-protest at the Pa. Capitol

By: John L. Micek

Last updated:12:19 pm

2 months ago

12:11 pm

State capitals, including Tallahassee, are bracing for potential violence on Sunday

By: John L. Micek

From our sibling site, the Florida Phoenix:

Following a quiet Saturday in Florida’s state capital, some activity emerged Sunday as capitals around the country brace for potential violence following the Washington, D.C. mob riot on Jan. 6.

State capitals are on the alert through at least the inauguration of Joe Biden as president this coming Wednesday. Florida governor Ron DeSantis on Friday activated the National Guard in Tallahassee and also sent guardsmen to Washington, D.C.

In Florida’s Capitol complex downtown on Sunday, law enforcement vehicles were blocking the area at the Leon County courthouse, which is across the street from the Capitol complex in Tallahassee. Some windows were boarded up in the downtown area near the Capitol.

The complex includes the Florida Historic Capitol as well as the Capitol complex that includes House and Senate office buildings.

A couple of buses were also adjacent to the courthouse Sunday.

Very few pedestrians were in the area, but they didn’t appear to be protesting. Overall, the streets around the complex were quiet about 11 a.m. Sunday.

Read the full story here.

2 months ago

11:57 am

Pa. State Police horses on the move.

By: John L. Micek

From WITF-FM’s Brett Sholtis:

Last updated:11:57 am

2 months ago

11:44 am

More than 21,000 Guard members from 50 states headed to D.C., and numbers may grow

By: Laura Olson

WASHINGTON — Wednesday’s presidential inauguration ceremony may have a scaled-down audience due to the pandemic, but the security presence on hand to ensure it goes smoothly will be supersized.

At least 21,000 National Guard men and women — from all 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia — will provide security support for the inauguration, according to the National Guard Bureau, amid fears about threats of violence following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Some 7,250 were on hand in D.C. as of Friday.

Those soldiers and airmen typically come from across the country to assist during the massive, once-every-four-years event. But four years ago, those state-based units were asked to provide a fraction of this year’s figure, sending more than 7,500 National Guard members to assist when President Donald Trump was sworn in.

The number of National Guard members — some of whom were camped out this week inside the Capitol, the scene of the violent riot by Trump supporters — could grow further. The Associated Press reported that law enforcement leaders now believe they need at least 25,000 troops to secure President-elect Joe Biden’s swearing-in.

Some National Guard members will come from Pennsylvania.

Read the full story here.

2 months ago

11:41 am

In Ohio, The last statehouse protests ended in fistfights. Now officials worry for inauguration violence

By: John L. Micek

From our colleagues at the Ohio Capital Journal:

It was a peaceful protest outside the Ohio Statehouse. Then it was a crowd of Proud Boys wailing on Dejuan Sharp.

The brawl came a few hours later.

Sharp, a Black man, attended the Jan. 6 protest along with other Black Lives Matter activists when, by his account, a Proud Boy in a baseball helmet called him a “n—er.”

At that point, he crossed from the west side of High Street to the east, where the Proud Boys gathered.

Several recordings of events reviewed by the Ohio Capital Journal don’t clearly show who made the first move. Sharp said in an interview he was hit by a whip. Then he swung.

The Proud Boys, a right-wing extremist group clad in black and yellow with a reputation for starting fights with liberal activists, can then be seen in a chaotic fistfight with Sharp, knocking him to the ground. Multiple members threw punches while he was down.

An email from an account belonging to the “Proud Boys of Cleveland” disputed an earlier version of this article referring to the group as a ‘street gang,’ stating the Proud Boys are a “fraternal organization.”

Read the full story here.

Last updated:11:46 am

2 months ago

11:34 am

Before the protest: The scene on the ground at the Pa. Capitol

By: Stephen Caruso

The Capital-Star’s Stephen Caruso reports: