Capitols Brace for Potentially Violent Protests Sunday after a Smattering of Small Pro-Trump Demonstrations

Officials in state capitals across the US were prepared for protests and potential violence this weekend, but with the exception of a few locations, state houses were relatively quiet on Saturday.
Armed men and supporters of President Trump gathered at the Texas Capitol in Austin as law enforcement officials closely watched their movements. In St. Paul, hundreds of officers surrounded the Minnesota Capitol building, far outnumbering a group of about 50 pro-Trump protesters. A small number of demonstrators also gathered in Illinois and Nevada.
Most of the weekend’s protests were planned for Sunday, however. But some conservative activists have urged their followers to stay home, claiming the events are a “setup” to frame Trump supporters for violence.
A man was arrested in D.C. after a gun and more than 500 rounds of ammo were discovered in his truck at a security checkpoint, police said. “It was an honest mistake,” the man, Wesley Allen Beeler, told The Washington Post on Sunday.
A heavy safety cordon continues to tighten around the nation’s capital, where the Mall will be shuttered for nearly a week; Metro stations and bridges are being closed; and some 25,000 National Guard troops are being deployed.
Anxious officials across the United States have spent much of the week rushing to secure government buildings and fortify statehouses after an FBI bulletin warned that armed far-right extremist groups are planning to march on state capitals this weekend.
The U.S. Postal Service has temporarily removed mailboxes near capitol buildings in multiple states and D.C. as a security measure.
Right-wing groups on chat apps are swelling with new members after Parler disappeared, making it harder for law enforcement to track where the next attack could come from.
The violent spectacle of democracy under siege has pushed some people to take a drastic new step: turning in friends and family for their alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol. Some police leaders have also been turning in their own officers who were part of the Capitol mob.