OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state’s Legislature is convening under a large security presence amid concerns about efforts by armed groups who might try to disrupt the proceedings.
The Washington State Patrol said a woman was arrested at the Capitol Campus after using a recreational vehicle to block a roadway and refusing to move it. A few hours later, a second person was arrested for failure to comply with a lawful order while attempting to enter a restricted area.
The Capitol is closed to the public because of the pandemic and lawmakers were scheduled to convene late Monday morning. A right-wing militia initially encouraged its members to occupy the Capitol when the Legislature starts its 105-day legislative session. An organizer canceled the event but said he expected some people might show up to create mayhem.
Several dozen protesters were gathered outside the Capitol building on Sunday as well, despite surrounding fencing and National Guard members. Some were there to oppose vaccines, others were supporters of President Donald Trump and some were there to object to the closure of the building to the public during the upcoming legislative session.
Sunday’s event was small and peaceful, with many people leaving the area by 3 p.m., in comparison to another protest that took place Wednesday where Trump loyalists stormed the governor’s property in Olympia.
KOIN 6 News contributed to this story by the Associated Press.