OLYMPIA — Tight security measures were warranted for the state Legislature’s first and only day of in-person proceedings Monday in large part because of a call to action by Bothell-based The Three Percent of Washington, State Patrol spokesman Chris Loftis said.
The group later cancelled plans to occupy the state Capitol, prompted by violent events in Washington, D.C., and the governor’s mansion in Olympia, group founder Matt Marshall said Friday.
Pro-President Donald Trump protesters who had been demonstrating Wednesday at the state Capitol went to the governor’s mansion, broke through the security gates, and confronted security at the front door. Some were armed.
“Given the rhetoric following this week’s events both nationally and in Olympia, we know that WA3% will be holding the bag if any bad actors (likely planted by political opposition) decide to cause trouble at our scheduled protest,” Marshall said an emailed response to a Peninsula Daily News query.
‘It is apparent that we are being targeted politically as individuals and an organization,” Marshall said in the email. “While we will not be attending this weekend, do not misinterpret this message as a retreat.
“This is a shift, a regroup.”
The name of Marshall’s group is based on the false claim that 3 percent of Americans fought in the Revolutionary War.
“We are not an anti-government militia group. Actually we are pro-government, as long as that government follows the restrictions set forth in the constitution,” the group says on its website, wa3percent.org. “We support the U.S. Constitution, and expect our government to do the same.”
The group is an offshoot of Three Percenters, described by the Anti-Defamation League as anti-government extremists who are part of the militia movement.
Three Percenters support the idea of “a small number of dedicated ‘patriots’ protecting Americans from government tyranny, just as the patriots of the American Revolution protected early Americans from British tyranny,” according to the ADL at www.adl.org.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].