Security remained tight at the state Capitol for yesterday’s opening of the 2021 legislative session. The Capitol Campus was fenced off from the public over the weekend after demonstrators had trespassed onto the grounds of Gov. Jay Inslee’s official residence Jan. 6. The governor also had called hundreds of armed National Guard and police to be present, effectively preventing other protests or demonstrations.
State Sen. Phil Fortunato, R-Auburn, condemned the recent incident at the governor’s private residence but called the response unnecessary and hypocritical.
“The people have a right to access their government, to protest, or be present for the deliberations of the Legislature,” said Fortunato. “Shutting ‘the people’ out when they have a right to be here is an affront to the democratic process, plain and simple. The governor’s response is unnecessary for what turned out to be a handful of protesters.
“Erecting fences to keep the public out and meeting them with an armed presence is just hypocritical considering how portions of the largest city in our state were taken over by armed protesters this summer. Remember how those events resulted in murders yet the whole uprising was ‘news to him.’ There was no such presence when far-left demonstrators have disrupted the Capitol Building. Now taxpayers, who pay legislators’ salaries, cannot access their government. It’s unacceptable.”