As chaos unfolded around Washington DC on Wednesday, a small crowd gathered around New Mexico's state capitol building to show support for President Trump and protest the confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden.
As the crowd began to form, New Mexico State Police ordered state legislators who had gathered at the Roundhouse for committee meetings in preparation for the legislative session to evacuate the building.
Maskless protesters shouted angrily outside the front doors of the building calling for actions ranging from the removal of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to a recount of votes from the November election. Others chanted anti-Biden slogans into megaphones. Cars sporting Trump banners cruised around the block honking favorably at the group of the president's supporters.
All in all, though, the event remained comparatively tame.
Many of the protesters rallying the crowd in front of the capitol had traveled from other parts of the state to speak at the event.
"You've got to find people…the patriots are out there," said one speaker from the southern part of the state representing a group called Concerned Citizens for New Mexico. "If you see somebody walking into a store without a mask, introduce yourself, you're going to find that they're going to want to talk to you, they're going to want to help you."
Another speaker said she'd worked as an adjunct professor and urged parents to question the education their children received due to the left political leanings of most people in the teaching profession.
"Those professors are putting Marxist crap into [students] heads," she said. "Those of you who are sending your kids to college, get them out."
A table along one side of the building adorned with a large "Don't tread on me" flag supported stacks of flyers informing protesters of their constitutional rights to assembly and to bear arms. (Several of those present carried weapons openly, as is permitted by New Mexico law.)
"We left England to form our own country and our forefathers created the documents with the people's help to make sure that we are all kings and queens of our own castle so there is nobody above us, we are self-governing American nationals with freedom and liberty," a man standing behind the table, Joshua James, told SFR when asked about the meaning of the slogan.
"[Elected officials] are our servants, and we don't serve our servants, they serve us. We are the masters. So anybody that tries to be the masters over us is treading on me," he said.
James showed SFR a series of petitions he was encouraging other protesters to sign that exemplify the "don't tread on me" ethos.
One was an injunction asking for a recount for the November election. Another stated that the Extreme Firearm Protection Order Act passed last session violated the New Mexico State Constitution.
Some of the other petitions were further from the beaten track. One, for example, cited a US Supreme Court order prohibiting branches of government from disregarding the constitution in cases of emergency to call for the creation of "constitutional rights sanctuary counties."
James explained that this would confirm counties rights to uphold the constitution even if the governor or legislature passed conflicting laws.
As the afternoon wore on people began slowly drifting away from the crowd, until only a handful of protesters shouting "stop the steal 2020" remained, while some exchanged taunts with anti-trump protesters as dozens of police officers surrounded the scene.
New Mexico State Police spokesman Ray Wilson confirmed late Wednesday night no arrests were made at the event.
Meanwhile, many New Mexico politicians including Lujan Grisham released statements condemning the violent behavior of protestors who stormed the US Capital in Washington.
"There is no place in our country or state for this," said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
"This is beneath the United States of America. It is not who we are. I am sickened beyond words by the scenes from Washington, D.C., this afternoon. It is nothing less than domestic terrorism, enacted in an effort to overturn a free and fair election," her statement continues. "I am praying for the law enforcement and military personnel working to protect American lives from this anti-democratic riot and attempted insurrection. Law enforcement personnel here in New Mexico will continue to monitor any analogous protests that are occurring or may occur in our state."
Editor's note: This story was updated Thursday morning with information from State Police.