While the storming of the Capitol is without parallel, similar incidents on a smaller scale have happened in state capitals recently, said Todd Donovan, professor of political science at Western Washington University. Protesters broke doors to enter the Oregon Capitol last week and occupied the Kansas statehouse Wednesday.
Washington state officials were preparing to restrict access to protesters who announced plans to enter and occupy the Legislative Building on Monday, the first day of the legislative session.
Wednesday’s actions are just part of a bigger unprecedented event, the weeks of challenge to the Nov. 3 election, Donovan said. They include President Donald Trump refusing to concede, filing what Donovan described as bogus lawsuits and challenging the Electoral College votes.
“At what point do you just not call this a coup, from the social science perspective?” he said.