Nonviolent protest leads to lockdown of Capitol

: A woman shouts in support of President Donald Trump during a "Stop the Steal" rally Wednesday outside the Wyoming State Capitol. The rally, which was organized by the Cheyenne Tea Party, was held to support President Donald Trump and his claims that November's presidential election was rigged in favor of President-elect Joe Biden. The protest that attracted about 300 people was held at about the same time thousands of what have been described as Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol and Wyoming officials locked down the Wyoming Capitol as a precaution. However, rally attendees in Cheyenne remained nonviolent. (Photo by Michael Cummo, Wyoming Tribune Eagle)

CHEYENNE — A nonviolent protest against the results of the 2020 presidential election was held Wednesday at the Wyoming State Capitol, eventually leading to the Wyoming Highway Patrol placing the building on lockdown as a precautionary measure.

At the same time the protest of around 300 people was occurring in Cheyenne, thousands of pro-Trump supporters gathered in Washington, D.C., with some of them storming inside the nation’s Capitol, causing the building to be placed on lockdown and lawmakers to shelter in place.

At the state Capitol, the protest organized by the Cheyenne Tea Party occurred just two days after many residents gathered in opposition to the state’s public health orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus of this protest, however, was largely on the results of the 2020 presidential election, with Congress scheduled to meet Wednesday to count the Electoral College’s certified voting results.

“Congress must reject the Electoral College count ... and if they don’t, and if our representatives don’t, we will, and that’s a promise,” rally organizer Moses Hasenauer said to cheers from the crowd. “We must protect the integrity of the vote.”

Protesters came from across the state for the rally, which Hasenauer said could be one of many that will be held in the coming weeks. Throughout the protest, the crowd frequently erupted into chants of “Stop the steal!” and “Drain the swamp!” People in the crowd also took verbal shots at U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., both of whom said they had no plans to object to the vote count that was planned in Congress.

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