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A Year Later, Local Governments Brace for January 6

In the wake of the U.S. Capitol riot, right-wing extremist groups have focused on attacking democratic institutions at the local level, from school board meetings to election commissions. 

A 2nd Amendment rally on May 1, 2021 in Salem, Oregon. Since the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, right-wing organizations have often targeted state capitols and local government sites. 

A 2nd Amendment rally on May 1, 2021 in Salem, Oregon. Since the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, right-wing organizations have often targeted state capitols and local government sites. 

Photographer: Nathan Howard/Getty Images North America

One year after a mob attacked the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn the presidential election results, the growing Lost Cause-style narrative forming around the events of Jan. 6 is making many security experts uneasy. The fear: The “Big Lie” that fueled the assault on Congress may instigate similar actions at multiple levels of government. 

“It’s incredibly troubling to see the increased promotion and dangerous, revisionist narrative about what happened on January 6,” said Lindsay Schubiner, program director of the Western States Center, a nonprofit focused on improving civil rights and civil engagement. “That clears the way for something similar to happen again, or more anti-democracy attacks on U.S. or state capitols or local governments.”