Following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and another near the Washington Capitol Building in Olympia, where protesters breached the gates of the Governor's mansion and directly threatened the life of at least one journalist, some right-wing groups canceled plans to organize a "Legislative Lockout" scheduled to begin this Sunday.
As the Seattle Times reported yesterday, Tyler Miller, the state committeeman for the Kitsap County Republicans and the guy who runs the Facebook group "Liberty, At All Hazards," called off a scheme to crowd the entrances of the legislative building with protesters while also occasionally occupying the building every day until lawmakers agreed to hold the upcoming session in-person rather than remotely. On Thursday the Washington III%ers, a local militia, pulled their support for the protest as well.
Matt Marshall, a spokesperson for the III%ers, said he and Miller made the decision to cancel after speaking with the Washington State Patrol Wednesday evening.
In a press release, the group accused lawmakers of not valuing what people think, and said, "We know that WA3% will be holding the bag if any bad actors (likely planted by political opposition) decide to cause trouble at our scheduled protest." They described their decision to pull out as "a shift, a regroup" rather than "a retreat."
I've asked the WSP for comment and will update if I hear back.
Some right-wingers on Facebook dragged Miller for canceling the event, and some extremists still plan to show up on Sunday.
Some far-right Republicans also still plan to hold their Olympia Freedom Party rally at 1:00 p.m. on the Capitol steps on Sunday. The event features speeches from Rep. Jim Walsh of Aberdeen, King County Republican party chair and failed write-in Lt. Gov candidate Joshua Freed, Pierce County Republican Chair Dave McMullan, "and more to be announced..." according to a promotional flyer.
The politicians and party activists will speak in support of bills that aim to restrict the Governor's emergency powers and to prevent the government and businesses from requiring people to get the COVID-19 vaccine before participating in a range of activities where they'd come into contact with numerous people.
During a legislative preview hosted by the Associated Press on Thursday, Gov. Inslee said his use of emergency powers saved lives. If he had listened to calls from Republicans to rollback restrictions designed to slow the spread of a deadly respiratory virus, then "thousands" more Washingtonians would have died, he added.
Inslee also noted that Washington ranks at #45 on the Centers for Disease Control's list of states with the highest COVID-19 infection rates. We'd be much higher on that list if Inslee hadn't implemented those restrictions under the guidance of health officials, and we'd be much lower on that list if he hadn't listened to the complaints from business lobbyists and Republicans at all.
In any event, in a Facebook message Rep. Walsh posted to nearly every right-wing Facebook group in Washington, the lawmaker stressed that the rally on Sunday "is NOT a violent protest," and he even suggested that people wear suits to set the mood. "Please dress like you're going to church. It's a Sunday, so many of you may be coming from church. Please do not open carry firearms...though, in this state, that remains every citizen's right. Please do not wear tactical or other paramilitary gear. For that matter, please don't wear weird buffalo-head-dress costumes," he wrote.