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State Patrol disperses protesters on grounds of governor’s mansion

Protesters at the gate of the Governor's Mansion on Wednesday. (KIRO 7/Dee Dee Sun)

Washington State Patrol says it has peacefully dispersed a crowd of protesters after it made its way onto the grounds of the governor’s mansion in Olympia on Wednesday afternoon.

WSP would not say if Gov. Inslee was at the mansion around 3 p.m. when the incident occurred, but said that the governor and his family were not in danger.

Sgt. Darren Wright said there was no violence or property damage during the incident. He did not know of any arrests, but more information could be released later.

“It was very peaceful when they left, actually,” Wright said. “They made their point and then they left shortly after.”

The WSP says it will remain in the area to make sure the scene remains peaceful into the evening. They are investigating how the crowd was able to breach the grounds to make sure this doesn’t happen again. A gate to the mansion’s entrance is currently in tact.

“While your rights to free speech are honored and protected, you do not have the right to commit illegal acts. Entering the governor’s mansion is illegal, and it is dangerous,” Wright said.

Earlier Wednesday, hundreds of people gathered at the state capitol in Olympia for a “stop the steal” rally.

Protesters chanted “No more, no more.” Others were heard on the loud speaker, “We have to fight to the very end. I don’t care if we lose this country, we go down swinging. Is that right?”

Protesters were speaking out against November election results and said they will never accept Joe Biden as president.

They also spoke out against Gov. Inslee’s recent COVID-19 restrictions and reopening plan that critics say is hardly a plan for reopening  businesses.

Sgt. Wright said it’s not uncommon for protesters to move from the state capitol to the governor’s mansion and yell at the gate.

Earlier Inslee addressed the protesters via Twitter while they were at the capitol.

He said, “The siege of the U.S. Capitol was an attack on democracy itself. It was fueled, precipitated and induced by the unrelenting and totally discredited lies of Donald Trump and his lackeys in Congress.

The members of Washington’s congressional delegation, their staff and all who serve in the Capitol should never fear for their safety in carrying out the people’s work.

But know this — democracy will not be denied. The ship of state will sail on. Our nation will persevere and a new president will take office.

And it is our fondest hope that those who have enabled Donald Trump will be touched by the better angels of their nature, and find the courage to stand up for our most precious gift of democracy and the institutions that have preserved it for centuries.”

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