At the State Capitol Building in Sacramento, security is being beefed up this week as it is at capitols around the nation as governors and law enforcement brace for a possible replay of what happened last week in Washington.
Calls have gone out on right-wing social media (and Twitter) for Trump supporters to storm their own state capitols in the days leading up to Joe Biden's inauguration. And the feeling among law enforcement is that the potential for mobs that don't show deference to law enforcement is high following the example of the mob in Washington that breached and vandalized the Capitol on January 6.
As the LA Times reports, the law enforcement presence outside California's Capitol on Monday was "noticeably greater than in previous days." And State Senate Sergeant at Arms Katrina Rodriguez told the paper that the Senate "keeps close watch on potential challenges and threats to security” and also would be “implementing additional security measures."
What, if anything, may happen at the state capitol — and when — remain unclear, and law enforcement has not shared any specific intelligence they may have. But the call to gather in Washington by Trump and his loyalists last Wednesday came with an accompanying call to gather at statehouses nationwide to create a greater show of force. The gathering of Trump supporters in Sacramento last Wednesday was not enormous, but there were "several hundred" of them according to the Sacramento Bee, and they were met with some counter-protesters — whom they of course referred to as Antifa. Several arrests were made for possession of pepper spray after some counter-protesters were sprayed with it, reportedly by members of the Proud Boys.
A pair of state lawmakers, Senators Henry Stern (D-Malibu) and Tom Umberg (D-Orange), are set to introduce legislation this week that would require state agencies to devote new units to investigating and combating the white nationalist movement and domestic terrorism.
"We have to respond not just with blustery condemnation, but with a concrete answer to this threat to domestic security,” said Stern in a statement to the LA Times.
Around the country, there are rumors of armed, pro-Trump gatherings both on Inauguration Day (which is next Wednesday), and this coming Sunday — though there is also a rumor on conservative channels warning protesters against attending these rallies because it could be a "trap" to take away their guns.
Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement Monday that "everybody is on high alert, in terms of making sure that everybody is safe" and that "people’s free speech can be advanced, but there’s no violence."
Top Image: A March for Our Lives demonstration in Sacramento in March 2018. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images