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NAT’L – GUN RIGHTS – Small numbers of protesters gather at fortified US capitols (VIDEO)

Small groups of right-wing protesters — some of them carrying rifles — gathered outside heavily fortified statehouses around the country Sunday as National Guard troops and police kept watch to prevent a repeat of the violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol. There were no immediate reports of any clashes. Security was stepped up in recent days after the FBI warned of the potential for armed protests in Washington and at all 50 state capitol buildings ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. A few people demonstrated in some capital cities, with crowds of only a dozen or two, while streets in many other places remained empty. Some protesters said they supported President Donald Trump. But others said they weren’t backing Trump and had instead come to voice their support for gun rights or oppose government overreach. Some statehouses were surrounded by new protective fences, had boarded-up windows and were patrolled by extra police. Legislatures generally were not in session over the weekend. Tall fences also surrounded the U.S. Capitol. The National Mall was closed to the public, and the mayor of Washington asked people not to visit. Some 25,000 National Guard troops from around the country are expected to arrive in the city in the coming days.  [full article]

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