National Guard sets up barricade around Arizona Capitol following abortion ruling protests
PHOENIX — The Arizona National Guard has set up razor-wire fencing around the Capitol complex in downtown Phoenix following protests over the weekend in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortions.
The concertina wire was installed Sunday afternoon by the National Guard and the Arizona Department of Public Safety, DPS spokesman Bart Graves told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
The barricades were put up after protestors gathered Friday and Saturday evenings over the ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case regarding rights to abortions.
GOP lawmakers and other workers on Monday helped clean up the Capitol complex, which saw three windows broken, a damaged front glass door and graffiti during the two protests, the Senate Republican Caucus said in a press release.
Damages from the demonstrations cost upwards of $10,000, Senate Republicans said.
About 8,000 people showed up on Friday. The protest was declared an unlawful assembly about two hours after it started. DPS used tear gas to disperse the crowd, but no arrests were made.
The Legislature was out of session after adjourning sine die just after midnight Saturday.
Saturday’s crowd was less dense, with about 1,200 people in attendance, according to DPS.
DPS arrested four people Saturday for allegedly tearing down chain-link fences that were put up after Friday’s events.
Fewer than 200 people protested Sunday night and five people were arrested on minor charges. No injuries were reported all weekend.
Many Republicans hailed state troopers and criticized the protestors. Democrats also praised state police and denounced protesters who were violent, while saying they want an investigation of the state police action.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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