Salem, OR – More than a third of U.S. governors had called out the National Guard, some declared a state of emergency, and others closed their capitols to the public for massive demonstrations which were supposed to take place on Jan. 17, but for the most part, nobody showed up to protest.
In the wake of the Capitol riot, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued an alert that said there were credible threats of violence in all 50 state capitals in connection with President-Elect Joe Biden’s Inauguration, FOX News reported.
State officials took precautions accordingly, basing their security plans largely on worst-case scenarios.
An image shared on social media alleged that there would be massive “armed march” on Capitol Hill and in all state capitols.
However, many of the images were shared with the message that it was an antifa trap to bait right-wingers into a confrontation.
The source of the image is unknown.
In Salem, the National Guard surrounded the state Capitol and the first floor of the building had been boarded up, according to FOX News.
“The state Capitol has become a fortress,” Democratic Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney said. “I never thought I’d see that. It breaks my heart.”
Breaches of the capitol are a touchy subject in Salem after pandemic shutdown protesters forced their way into the Oregon Capitol in December to complain about the building being closed to the public during a special legislative session on coronavirus, FOX News reported.
But while the National Guard stood on full alert expecting chaos on Saturday and Sunday, less than a dozen protesters actually showed up.
Protesters with guns outside state capitol building in Salem, Oregon. pic.twitter.com/ZpJEvfS7TP
— The Hill (@thehill) January 17, 2021
Some were armed, which is legal in Oregon, and some waved upside down American flags to signal distress or carried signs that read “Disarm the Government,” but there were no altercations, FOX News reported.
Only about 20 protesters showed up in Michigan’s capital, Lansing, which was the scene of numerous armed protests of pandemic lockdown measures, and more recently, election fraud demonstrations.
Actually, more media and police than protestors. This past summer was the exception to that. I would often wander over in years past to Grand Circus Park near my church to see what the noise was about, to find a small gathering of passionate people airing their grievances.
— Steven J. Kelly (@StJohnsPriest) January 18, 2021
About two dozen protesters showed up to demonstrate in front of a long line of state troopers in riot gear in Columbus, Ohio, but everybody went home when it started snowing, according to FOX News.
“I’m here to support the right to voice a political view or opinion without fear of censorship, harassment or the threat of losing my job or being physically assaulted,” an Ohio resident in a Trump visor named Katie Sherman said.
Some protesters in both Michigan and Ohio were carrying weapons but there were no problems or clashes with law enforcement, FOX News reported.
Despite the lack of protest activity, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said he had no plans to pull back on the added security measures ahead of Biden’s inaugural.
DeWine said authorities “continue to have concerns for potential violence in the coming days, which is why I intend to maintain security levels at the Statehouse as we approach the presidential inauguration,” FOX News reported.
Utah Governor Spencer Cox, a Republican, posed for pictures with National Guardsmen and Utah state troopers and shared them on social media on Sunday.
Today was our best-case scenario as many agitating groups cancelled their plans and those that came were peaceful. I join Utahns everywhere in gratitude for the men and women of the National Guard and Law Enforcement who came to protect the People’s House. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/1KeckBPFyd
— Spencer Cox (@SpencerJCox) January 18, 2021
In Austin, Texas, a couple dozen armed protesters gathered briefly in front of the closed, fenced-off State House but most said they were not protesting in support of President Donald Trump, KEYE reported.
Few dozen demonstrators at the Texas Capitol early this afternoon. 2nd amendment advocates say they don’t want to be associated with the Jan. 6th US Capitol insurrection and they urge peace today. @cbsaustin pic.twitter.com/xdPvqvaCmj
— Jordan Bontke (@JBontkeCBS) January 17, 2021
Participants said the gathering of Libertarians and pro-Second Amendment demonstrators was planned long before the Capitol riot, and said they thought it would have been much larger if not for the events of Jan. 6 in the nation’s capital, KEYE reported.
There were small protests in almost every state capitol on Sunday but none resulted in riots or violence.