Arizona Senate Republicans claim cops stopped an INSURRECTION at state capitol complex
Arizona state senators have said the Phoenix Police Department has halted a riot with their actions during a protest outside the Capitol complex Friday night.
Riot police fired tear gas when protesters slammed doors and windows during the demonstration. Despite the apparent seriousness of the protest, no arrests were made.
About 8,000 people attended the protest in the hours after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, depriving millions of abortion rights, according to a statement from the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
Arizona is one of eight states where abortion clinics have stopped performing procedures after the decision was released Friday.
Police accused the protesters of damaging state monuments on the grounds of the capital known as Wesley Bolin Plaza.
It came as millions of people across the country took to the streets to protest the decision, with most rallies remaining peaceful.
Police fire tear gas against women in Arizona Capitol as pro-choice protesters rally to overthrow Roe V Wade
Arizona is one of eight states where abortion clinics have stopped performing procedures after the decision was released Friday
In a press release, Arizona Senate Republicans said “attempts by violent pro-abortion protesters to riot” were thwarted “thanks to the prompt action of local and state law enforcement.
The Arizona GOP said local law enforcement called for reinforcements and dispersed the crowd before they could breach the Capitol.
The statement called the whole situation “terrifying” and said senators and personnel had to evacuate to a safe location. Lawmakers were wrapping up their 2022 session when the protest took place.
Despite the crowd dispersing, the senators were still unable to finish their work because some of the tear gas was sucked into the Senate chambers, making air quality unhealthy.
Senate President Karen Fann said in a statement: “We are incredibly grateful to our local law enforcement officers for their prompt intervention when it could have been a destructive and dangerous situation for our members, staff and public in the Senate.”
Fann continued: “Violence is never the answer, and we will not disguise a blatant attempt at insurrection as a ‘gathering’ or ‘peaceful protest’. We call on lawmakers to condemn these acts. There is a way to make your voice heard and violence is never the answer.’
Officers opened fire as several anti-abortion protesters began pounding on the building’s glass doors
Riot Police Surround Arizona Capitol Building After Protesters Reach Front Of Arizona Sentate Building
KPHO-TV reported that officers opened fire when several anti-abortion protesters began pounding on the building’s glass doors.
Abortion rights protesters slammed signs on the walls of the Arizona Capitol
The APDS statement described the protest as peaceful but “evolved into anarchist and criminal actions by masses of splinter groups.”
Authorities accused the mob of attempting to breach the building in a manner similar to the events of January 6, 2021.
As a result of these actions, the police were reduced to deploying tear gas and field troops around 8.30 pm. By 9:30 p.m. the scene was cleared.
The statement reads: “Troopers exercised patience and applied tactics in Wesley Bolin Plaza because some people unwisely brought children to the protest that became illegal gathering.
“After multiple warnings and reports of violations and illegal gatherings, state troopers deployed gas and strategically cleared the square.
“After the plaza was vacated, more state buildings in the area suffered criminal damage.” Protesters told AZ Central that they had not been warned before the tear gas was used.
Among the memorials that were damaged were the capital’s Korean War Memorial, the Arizona Law Enforcement Canine Memorial, and the Arizona Peace Officers Memorial.
Republican Senator Kelly Townsend posted photos of the damaged memorials after the protest. She wrote, “I wish I could describe the deep anger, but I just want to say it’s one of those things that you put aside and move on because we’re winning.”
During the standoff, Townsend tweeted: “We are currently being held hostage in the Senate building as members of the public try to breach our security.”
Townsend continued: “We smell tear gas and one of the members’ children are sitting in the office sobbing with fear. I expect a J24 committee to be set up immediately.’
Townsend’s fellow Senator Warren Peterson tweeted during the protest that he felt safe as did three other senators who were armed.
Video taken from the Senate lobby by Republican Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita showed the scene. Another she took moments later showed state police in riot gear lining up in the building, facing protesters on the other side of the glass.
She said in an interview with The Associated Press Saturday morning that the protesters were clearly trying to enter the locked building.
“They banged on the windows so aggressively that they could break at any moment,” Ugenti-Rita said. “This wasn’t a knock on a window. I mean, they tried to break the windows.”
A protester screamed in front of the United States Supreme Court on Saturday after the conservative majority voted to overturn the landmark decision that guaranteed abortion rights across the country
Protests continued outside the Supreme Court for the second day in a row on Saturday
Friday’s ruling deleted more than 50 years of a woman’s constitutional right to abortion — leaving abortion rights to the states
Hundreds of protesters could be seen in her videos walking around the plaza between the House and Senate buildings, while about a hundred protesters moved closer, at the glass wall in front of the Senate building.
“There was no other conclusion than that they were interested in violence,” she added. “I don’t have any takeaway other than that. I have seen many protests over the years, in many different sizes and shapes. I’ve never seen that before.’
Across the aisle, Democratic Senator Lupe Contreras told AZ Central that he was in the building with his wife and children when the protest took place. Contreras said he was “to hell” for them.
He added: “What I had to endure today was not cool.” Democratic state representative Athena Salman of Tempe, however, said the gassed were peaceful.
“A bunch of Democrats in the House and Senate voted to give these cops a massive pay rise,” he said on Twitter in a post in which police fired tear gas. Some even called it historic. Remember that every time the police gassed peaceful protesters.”
Salman said in an interview on Saturday that Arizona police have a long history of using unnecessary force against people exercising First Amendment rights to protest and then blaming them for causing the trouble. She pointed to Black Lives Matter and protests for immigrant rights, and said she wasn’t surprised to see it at an abortion rights protest.
“Anything related to human rights, they will eventually gas the crowds and then come up with cover stories that justify this excessive use of force,” Salman said.
Democrats in the state Senate released a statement Saturday saying the vast majority of protesters were peaceful, noting that a small number attempted to enter the building.
“We unequivocally condemn violence in all forms and eagerly await the investigation results to explain the police response,” the statement said.
They also criticized “right-wing media and lawmakers” calling it an “attempted insurgency,” saying they “used this moment to deviate from the January 6 actions.”
Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey insists a previously passed bill banning abortions after 15 weeks is still in effect. But Ducey’s claim can only be settled in state courts — and some hard-hitting Republicans are already suggesting that the original ban on all terminations should remain in effect.
The incident sent Senate lawmakers into the building’s basement for about 20 minutes, Democratic Senator Martin Quezada said. Corrosive tear gas then drifted through the Capitol, forcing the Senate to move its work to a hearing room instead of the Senate Chamber.
The protest comes as Kelli Ward, chairman of the Republican Party in Arizona, and her husband, Michael Ward, are being investigated by the FBI over allegations that she sent false certificates to the National Archives in the wake of the 2020 presidential election. cnn.
The certificates erroneously said ex-President Donald Trump won Grand Canyon State.
Earlier this week, Rusty Bowers, speaker of the Arizona Republican House, told the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 riots that he would still vote for Trump, despite Trump asking him to report the state’s 2020 election results. to undo.