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Armed statehouse protests set tone for US Capitol insurgents

FILE - In this April 15, 2020, file photo, protesters carry rifles near the steps of the...
FILE - In this April 15, 2020, file photo, protesters carry rifles near the steps of the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing, Mich. When President Trump-supporting insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the presidential election on Wednesday, Jan. 6 2021 the nation was shocked, but not unwarned. A series of dress rehearsals of sorts have played out in statehouses in Michigan, Oregon, Idaho and elsewhere in recent months, with armed protesters forcing their way into buildings. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)(Paul Sancya | AP)
Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 10:32 AM MST
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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — When President Trump-supporting insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the presidential election on Wednesday, the nation was shocked, but not unwarned.

A series of dress rehearsals of sorts have played out in statehouses in Michigan, Oregon, Idaho and elsewhere in recent months, with armed protesters forcing their way into buildings.

Political science professor Joe Lowndes says there’s a direct relationship between the growing paramilitary activity in state Capitols and what happened Wednesday.

Jay Ulfelder with the Carr Center at Harvard Kennedy School says the event at the U.S. Capitol likely helped groups recruit and radicalize new members, and that could mean more armed protests at statehouses.

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