At State Capitols, Protest Numbers Were Tiny

Only one demonstrator appeared in Albany
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2021 7:00 PM CST
At State Capitols, Security Outnumbered Protesters
Lone Trump supporter Mark Leggiero, of Florida, NY, stands outside the New York state Capitol objecting to the inauguration of President Joe Biden.   (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

State capitals around the country were braced for trouble during President Biden's inauguration Wednesday—but crowds of violent pro-Donald Trump demonstrators did not appear. Small numbers of protesters demonstrated in some cities, but they were outnumbered by police and journalists. In Albany, where New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo skipped the inauguration to deal with potential protests, a single demonstrator was seen in front of the Capitol. "There was reportedly one protester," Cuomo said, per CNN. "I just took a look outside, I couldn't find the protester," he added. "I could have gone to the inaugural, in retrospect." In Salt Lake City, where Utah Gov. Spencer Cox declared a state of emergency last week, the handful of protesters was outnumbered by National Guard troops, Fox 13 reports.

In California, one of several other states that activated the National Guard, a solitary Trump supporter protested outside the Capitol in Sacramento, while the only protester at the Montana Capitol was a man with a sign saying "Biden Won, Trump Lost, Let's Move On," reports Forbes. Law enforcement officials say anti-government groups that had been expected to join protesters may have been deterred by the huge security presence following the Jan. 6 US Capitol riot—and by rumors that the government had organized the protests to set them up for arrest. In Washington, DC, where 25,000 National Guard members helped secure the inauguration, police told USA Today that there were few protesters and no arrests were made Wednesday. (Read more Inauguration Day stories.)

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