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Summer Protests in Boise Mirror U.S. Capitol Breaching

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Before Wednesday's siege on the U.S. Capitol, far-right protesters stormed the Idaho Capitol in August. (Ken Wilcox/Flickr)
Before Wednesday's siege on the U.S. Capitol, far-right protesters stormed the Idaho Capitol in August. (Ken Wilcox/Flickr)
January 8, 2021

BOISE, Idaho - Scenes of supporters of President Donald Trump breaking windows and breaching the U.S. Capitol shocked the nation this week - and were reminiscent of protests in Boise last summer.

In August, protesters of a special session in Idaho on COVID-19 safety measures shattered a glass door and rushed into the state Capitol. Some in the crowd were armed and included far-right anti-government activist Ammon Bundy.

The Executive Director of the progressive group United Vision for Idaho, Adrienne Evans said the U.S. Capitol attack and the Boise protests are related.

"Not on the same scale, of course, but very similar in tactic," said Evans. "And that's the point, right, is to instill fear by evoking violence and issuing threats."

One of the rioters in the U.S. Capitol has been identified as a man from Boise and was photographed inside the House chamber. On Wednesday, several hundred pro-Trump supporters also peacefully gathered in the Idaho capital.

Evans said she's led peaceful protests in Washington, DC, and was baffled by the police response this week. She noted there is a high level of security on Capitol Hill, and she's still trying to wrap her head around how this happened so easily.

Evans also contrasted it with the tightly policed Black Lives Matter protests over the summer.

"So, it really begs the question of, is it democracy for everyone?" asked Evans. "Is it accessibility for everyone? Or are there special rights and leniencies that are given to some groups because of where police align?"

Evans said elected leaders, especially Republicans who have backed Trump, need to make a stand.

"You must break with this president and stand on the side of democracy," said Evans. "You must put country before party so that we can come together and heal as a nation, rebuild and re-envision what we can be when we work together."

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID