National Guard activated for start of legislative session in Washington state

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has activated up to 750 members of the National Guard to work with the Washington State Patrol to protect the Capitol campus as the state Legislature prepares to convene its 105-day legislative session Monday.

“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,” Inslee said in a written statement Friday. “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.”

On Wednesday, a group of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the governor’s residence, which is next to the Capitol, including some who were armed and attacked or threatened journalists. That breach came hours after the siege of the nation’s Capitol building.

Inslee wrote that there will be areas for people to exercise their First Amendment rights on the Capitol Campus but that fencing and security personnel will restrict access to areas that are open only to legislators and staff.

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