DENVER (CBS4/AP) — Denver Mayor Michael Hancock ordered city agencies to close all municipal buildings early on Wednesday, after hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Colorado state Capitol — and demonstrators stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Flag-waving supporters of President Donald Trump’ were rallying peacefully at the Colorado state Capitol to protest Congress’ expected certification of Electoral College votes confirming Joe Biden’s presidential win. The Denver protest on Wednesday was one of many across the U.S. echoing unproven claims of widespread fraud in the presidential election.
Denver closed city offices early as a precaution. COVID-19 testing sites downtown were also closed.
“We are monitoring closely the situation occurring right now at the U.S. Capitol, as well as the demonstration taking place here in [Denver],” Mayor Hancock tweeted.
“With the activities around the country and approximately 700 individuals downtown who have gathered at the State Capitol, out of an abundance of caution, I have instructed city agencies to close municipal buildings early,” he stated.
Posts on social media called for supporters of President Donald Trump to join what was called a “We Are The Storm” rally to “protest this fraudulent election” the the state Capitol. They began gathering at noon and the event is scheduled to last until 4 p.m.
The Denver Police Department said officers were prepared to step in if things turned violent.
The scene in Denver was in stark contrast to the chaos that engulfed the nation’s Capitol.
Supporters of President Donald Trump stormed barricades and confronted police outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, shortly after Trump gave a speech once again falsely claiming to have won a second term.
Members of the extremist group known as the Proud Boys drew cheers and praise as they walked onto the Capitol grounds. Speakers railed against Republican lawmakers supporting certification.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)