On Jan. 6, 2021, protesters in Atlanta descended on the Georgia state Capitol building to protest what they viewed as an unfair election that had been fraudulently stolen from Trump. The protest was held under the banner of the Stop the Steal movement, which had held numerous protests in Washington and around the country after Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election by the media and state governments.
Although the protest was largely peaceful, Gov. Brian Kemp mobilized the National Guard to protect the Capitol grounds and state government officials. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that some members of the protest group carried assault weapons. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his senior staff were evacuated to a secure location. According to reporter Stephen Fowler, “A smaller group of protestors tried to get to [Raffensperger’s] office and deliver ‘grievances.’” Raffesnperger had been pressured by Trump to overturn the 2020 election results after the former president asked him to “find ” uncounted votes in his favor.
One of the protestors who entered the state Capitol building, through normal security procedures, was Chester Doles, founder of white nationalist hate group American Patriots USA and a former KKK leader. Doles was pictured roaming around the Capitol building as he intended to speak with Raffensperger but the secretary of state had already left the building.
The Big Lie
- Doles said, “We the people are now being told to sit down and shut up after we have watched the most blatant act of fraud ever committed in our state election.”