Armed Pro-Trump Protesters Gather Outside Texas Capitol In Austin
AUSTIN, TX — A small but vocal group of armed pro-Trump demonstrators began to gather outside the state Capitol on Tuesday — an offshoot of ongoing protests by some voters decrying the outcome of the presidential election.
A smattering of people were at the north side of the Capitol to protest the election that handed Joe Biden the presidency. According to freelance journalist Michael Hardy, one of the speakers at the event described himself as leader of a militia called "Patriots for America." An exponentially greater of state troopers could be seen strategically stationed on the grounds in anticipation of throngs of protesters. One demonstrator told a reporter from the Houston affiliate of National Public Radio he blamed the anemic turnout to erroneous reports being spread via social media that demonstrators would get arrested following riots in Washington, D.C. last week that left five people dead.
While the sight of demonstrators rallying around various causes is not uncommon as lawmakers propose various legislation inside the Capitol — as was the case on Tuesday during the first day of the state's legislative session — the local protest comes a mere six days after the U.S. Capitol was breached by pro-Trump forces, which resulted in deaths, destruction of property, multiple arrests and a move to impeach the president for the second time.
Texas Department of Public Safety troopers were dispatched to safeguard state capitol grounds before arrival of pro-Trump demonstrators on Jan. 12, 2021. (Tony Cantú/Patch staff)