While rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., more than 4,000 miles away at least 10 people gathered at the intersection of Kenai Spur and Sterling highways in Soldotna in their own demonstration opposing a congressional certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
Standing among signs with phrases like “Stop the Steal” and “Revolution,” the group waived American and “Trump 2020” flags while passing cars honked in support.
Sue Mann, of Soldotna, organized the event and said that they were protesting because they were mad at what they said was a “rigged” election.
“I wanted to organize this because there’s a bunch of us that feel the need for us to stand for America, because we believe that what’s happening right now in Georgia and in all the other states that are under fire right now is completely wrong,” Mann said. “We believe there’s fraud happening, and we want just to be we want it to be fair. We want counts to be counted and we believe that they’re trying to steal the election from Mr. Trump.”
In response to concerns about fraud, U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced last month that the U.S. Justice Department did not find evidence of widespread voter fraud that could have changed the outcome of the presidential election.
Dawn Jackson, who also attended the protest, said that their objections to the outcome of the election will not stop after Inauguration Day and that the implementation of measures such as voter ID laws are one way elections could be made more secure.
“I don’t believe the fight ends on Jan. 20. It has really only just begun,” Jackson. “We have to take our country back.”
“We the people are not going to stop fighting,” Mann said. “We want the truth and we’re standing by Mr. Trump.”
On Twitter, Alaska’s congressional delegation condemned the violence in Washington.
“I’m deeply saddened and appalled to see the violence at the U.S. Capitol today,” tweeted Gov. Mike Dunleavy. “Acts of violence have no place in our great country.”
At around noon Alaska time, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski tweeted that she and other members of the Senate were “secure” but said that the situation is not safe.
“My prayers are with the officers that are protecting and defending and who have gone down. Mr. President, tell your supporters to stop the violence,” Murkowski tweeted. “Stop the assault. Now.”
U.S. Rep. Don Young at around 11:15 a.m. tweeted out that he and his staff were safe.
“My staff and I are currently safe and accounted for,” Young tweeted. “Peaceful protest is fundamentally American, but violence must never be tolerated. I call on protestors to comply with Capitol Police, stand down, and leave the Capitol Building so that our Constitutional duties may resume.”
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan also took to social media to condemn the insurrection.
“I am disgusted by the lawless acts of violence being perpetrated at the Capitol,” Sullivan tweeted at around 11:30 a.m. “Disgraceful. A sad day in American history. The world is watching. We are the United States of America. We must be better than this. We ARE better than this.”
Rep. Ben Carpenter, R- Nikiski, wrote on his personal Facebook page in support of the pro-Trump extremists, comparing the events of Wednesday with America’s decision to enter World War II. Carpenter did not release an official statement and did not respond to a request for comment from the Clarion.
“Not too long ago, freedom loving people were faced with a choice between peace and conflict,” Carpenter wrote on Wednesday. “Many said that conciliation would prevent WWII. Today many say that accepting a corrupt election is the path to peace. Peace at any cost will never produce a free people. Today we will learn which Republicans stand with the people and which ones stand with the continuation of power at all costs.”
In a statement Wednesday night, Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce did not directly address the siege on the U.S. Capitol, but said that 2020 saw growing distrust in the election process and that mainstream media has contributed to social divisions.
“We should always seek to work things out peacefully and to come to agreements, even if it’s agreeing to disagree,” Pierce said in the statement. “Cheating should never be the solution to gain a different result. I’m uncertain how this all ends, but regardless, I am hopeful for better days ahead.”
State Sen. Peter Micciche, who represents State Senate District O could not be reached for comment.