So what exactly happened at the Nebraska State Capitol on Inauguration day? (As well as other capitols)


Jaden Cheloha, Staff Writer

What happened at the US Capitol? 


Every American generation has that thing. That great tragedy they remember for the rest of their lives. For my great grandparents, it was the bombing of Pearl Harbor. For my grandparents, it was JFK’s assassination. For my parents, it was 9/11. Finally, for my generation, it could be the pandemic, as these calamities don’t have to happen in a single instant. More likely, however, the grand American catastrophe that the minds of Generation Z will remember forever just happened on Jan. 6, 2021 (thank you to Mr. Wilson for providing me with that insight). 

Some of the domestic terrorists who attacked the US capitol had been planning their insurrection all over social media in the days leading up to their assault on democracyFederal investigators discovered a few of these insurrectionists had deployed communications systems and issued marching orders to the other rioters as they advanced on the Capitol. There were also some preparations executed by the Proud Boys, where they discussed wearing black to trick people into believing Antifa was behind the attack. 

Even after five people (including one police officer) died from injuries sustained during the insurrection, these people weren’t done trying to get their message across. According to the FBI bulletin, armed protests at every state capitol were being planned. To go along with that plan, there was also a group that planned to “storm” local, state, and federal government offices the day Joe Biden was inaugurated, regardless of who the state’s electoral votes went to. This left me feeling very worried since my dad works in Lincoln as the lobbyist for the city of Omaha (he has to attend meetings when the legislature is in session). His office is in a different building, but it is still located right across the street from the Capitol. So, I made sure to keep in contact with him during the inauguration. 


What was Nebraska doing to prepare for the potential protests? 


Before the inauguration, state officials said they were aware potential armed demonstrations could occur. Governor Ricketts also chimed in on this, saying he knew about the online flyers calling for armed protests on government seats before Jan. 20. He told the press that they will “take appropriate precautions.” The Nebraska State Patrol also spoke on the matter, saying, “[The capitol] is closely monitored at all times, with on-site security.” The Nebraska National Guard, who sent 30 members to Washington D.C. for Joe Biden’s inaugurationalso said they would have the ability to respond to any events occurring in NebraskaThe Lincoln police department planned to stay vigilant, stating, We will continue to monitor the information we receive and plan accordingly.”  

What was Lincoln like on Biden’s inauguration day?


Since my dad was in Lincoln while Biden was sworn in, he was able to provide me with some information of what was happening at the Capitol. I texted him at 9:58 A.M. asking if he had seen anything, and he told me there were no protests of any kind happening. At 10:32 A.M., he sent me images of barricades on the sidewalks, ready to be put up if Lincoln needed to close down the street. A little while later, at 12:16 P.M. he told me that he saw “two men holding a Jesus saves sign outside the west door of the Capitol. That is it.” He also told me he spoke to three sheriff deputies, all armed. He asked if there was any trouble, and they told him no.  

That was all my dad saw in Lincoln on Biden’s inauguration daywhich is in stark contrast to the hundreds of people that arrived at Nebraska’s capitol on Jan. 6 in support of what was happening in Washington. Overall, it was pretty quiet at our state capitol on inauguration day as the senators continued their work during the 107th legislative session. 


What were other capitols like on Biden’s inauguration day? 


Even though nothing major happened in Lincoln on inauguration day, it’s still important to bring up what happened at some of the other state capitols on Jan. 20In Michigan, state police (as well as some National Guard) were prepared for protests, but they ended up not having to worry as there was only a small group of demonstrators that stood outside of the capitol. No arrests were made. 

Unfortunately, it is a different story in the Pacific Northwest. In Portland, while there were no protests at the state capitol, around 150 protestors possessing anti-Biden and anti-police signs marched down to and damaged the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Oregon. They broke windows and sprayed anarchist symbols on the walls of the building. Police arrested eight of the protestors. There was also an unlawful assembly of people gathered outside of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement building, where police said this group was throwing rocks, eggs, and generally vandalizing the building. The officers tried to disperse the crowd using a loudspeaker, later turning to munitions and tear gas to finally disband the crowd. There was also a group of around 150 that marched in Seattle, where they broke windows at a federal courthouse. Three people were arrested. 


Jan. 6 was a terrible tragedy that will bremembered forever by Generation Z, but at least Joe Biden’s inauguration can be remembered on more of positive note.