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Arizonans rally at the State Capitol as chaos unfolds in D.C.

Posted at 11:00 PM, Jan 06, 2021

PHOENIX — As the chaos unfolded in Washington D.C. Wednesday, a far more subdued gathering took place at Arizona's State Capitol.

The Department of Public Safety estimates 1,000 people convened on Wesley Bolin Plaza for the GOP-sponsored "Protect the Vote" event.

No arrests were made, and there was minor damage, according to a DPS spokesperson who would not provide specifics. A trooper on scene told ABC15 it was a cracked window on one of the buildings.

The event was supposed to be a watch party focused on Arizona representative's objections to the election certification. That was quickly halted when protesters stormed the nation's Capitol and one woman was shot outside one of the chamber's doors.

At Wesley Bolin, there was an assortment of Republicans and far right extremists. Families milled around next to militia members in military gear.

Proud Boys flashed white supremacist hand signs in group pictures, as Gilbert grandparents sat in lawn chairs 100 feet away.

The group shared two sentiments though. The first, their love and support of President Donald Trump. The second, they all believe his loss in November is the result of rigged, fraudulent election.

There have been multiple challenges to Arizona's election results, in court and in the public, none have been supported by facts or evidence. The election results were also certified by a bipartisan group, including AZ GOP Chairwoman Dr. Kelli Ward.

The group had differing opinions though, when it came to the violent storming of our nation's Capital.

"I think people are tired. They are tired of the injustice," said Linda Rounds from Gilbert.

"Them using violence it makes them no different than the other bad guys, Black Lives Matter group," said Talib Shahbaz Bey.

"We saw this violence in Washington, and that is a shame. But you know what could’ve prevented that?" asked Arizona GOP Chairwoman Ward. "Having a transparent election. Having the ability to audit the votes."

"If you silence peoples voices long enough, you’re going to have a reaction like what happen today at the Capitol," said Nicholas Tutora, who recently ran for U.S. Congress and was defeated by Congressman Greg Stanton.

Throughout the rally and protest, there was a palpable anger towards established Arizona Republicans, like Governor Doug Ducey.

One group even had a booth set up, looking to collect 35,000 signatures to start a new Arizona Patriot Party.

A leader at the booth said their goal is to hold RINO's (Republicans in name only) accountable, and if they do not "follow the constitution" the new party will "primary them to split the vote and let the Democrats win."