Topline

Preparing for the worst after this month’s deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, states across the country which had been warned of potential violence outside their capitol buildings on Inauguration Day saw little—if any—protest activity on Wednesday. 

Key Facts

At least 10 states activated National Guard troops to protect their Capitol buildings after the FBI warned of plans for “armed protests” at all 50 state capitols and in Washington, D.C. 

However, large groups of protesters and militias were nowhere to be seen in D.C., where the downtown area was mostly locked down and swarmed with thousands of National Guardsmen, as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in. 

Meanwhile, the states that had activated the National Guard—including California, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Washington and Kentucky—witnessed just handfuls of pro-Trump protesters.

Local reporters at Capitol buildings in at least five other states similarly struggled to find more than a couple of protesters.

“I’m outside the Texas Capitol building in downtown Austin,” wrote Austin American-Statesman reporter Kelsey Bradshaw on Twitter, “I’m counting more journalists than Trump or Biden supporters out here.”

Crucial Quote 

“We have one lone demonstrator at the Montana State Capitol so far,” Thom Bridge, the multimedia editor for the Helena Independent Record, wrote on Twitter around midday. “He’s the only one who has showed up all day,” Bridge later told Forbes

 

Key Background 

Statehouses across the country saw a similar lack of activity over the weekend, though there appeared to be a greater show of armed protesters than there has been so far on Inauguration Day. Online, supporters of President Trump who subscribe to the bizarre QAnon conspiracy theory appeared defeated and desperate as their belief that Trump would finally bring down the “deep state” and its cannibalistic child sex trafficking ring never came to fruition. 

Further Reading 

“‘It’s A Militarized Zone’: Photos Of A Locked Down D.C. Ahead Of Biden’s Inauguration” (Forbes)

“‘We All Got Played’: QAnon Followers Implode After Big Moment Never Comes” (Forbes)

“Statehouse Protests Largely Peaceful Sunday Amid Warnings Of Violence Ahead Of Biden’s Inauguration” (Forbes)

“States Brace for Armed Protests in Wake of U.S. Capitol Attack” (The New York Times)

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