Inslee Pledges “Citizen Access” At Session, Calls up Nat. Guard
On one hand he says citizens will have areas to express their opinions, but on the other he calls up the National Guard. He was referring to the 2021 Legislative session, which starts Monday January 11 in Olympia.
Gov. Inslee released a statement late Friday that read in part:
“As legislators begin their work on behalf of the people of the state of Washington, we must do whatever we can to ensure that they can do that work without fear, intimidation or harassment. The actions we saw in both Washington, D.C. and Olympia earlier this week were completely unacceptable and will not be repeated in our state capital again.
“There will be acres of areas for people to exercise their First Amendment rights on the Capitol Campus. There will be restricted access in certain areas that are open only to legislators and staff. These areas will be clearly delineated by fencing and security personnel."
The reason for the changes, in part, is because due to COVID, this year's legislative session is being done remotely, and the buildings that are normally acessible to citizens to watch certain aspects of the process (from the galleries) is not happening this year.
There will be staff, officials etc. inside, but the doors to virtually all the facilities will be locked to the public.
Inslee went on to say:
"...I have activated the Washington State National Guard to be in Olympia in coordination with the Washington State Patrol and local law enforcement. I am authorizing up to 750 members of the Guard and a large number of Washington State Patrol troopers will be on hand, in addition to the regular Capitol Campus security contingent."
It is not lost on many already that he is quick to pull this trigger, but months ago waited til it was too late in Seattle CHOP-CHAZ to send in the Guard, and when they were sent in, they were without arms.
Wonder if the Guard at the Capitol will be "fully equipped?"