Sparse crowd of protesters in Lansing on inauguration day
LANSING, Mich. (FOX 2) - Two weeks ago, a violent mob stormed the United States Capitol and authorities have been on high alert ever since. With online chatter suggesting state capitols could be a target this week, only a few protesters showed up in Lansing.
Local and Michigan State Police didn't take any chances this week. Businesses were boarded up and the National Guard filed into the capitol. But there were significantly more police than protesters.
"We plan for the very worst and hope for the very best," said MSP Lt. Michael Shaw.
They got the very best as Shaw said there was not a single problem on Wednesday and none on Sunday either following chatter that the Michigan Militia would show up. Only two dozen demonstrators were there with 150 journalists to cover them.
Lansing City Council President Peter Spadafore said it was better for the city to be ready for anything, considering the threats that were being made.
"When you're hearing reports that there was intention of violence, intention of causing disruption, you have to take those folks at their word and prepare for that," said Spadafore.
As President Joe Biden was being sworn in, only a handful of conservative demonstrators were in Lansing on Wednesday.
"I was hoping to have a lot more people out here, I know its cold but..." said Larry Conrad.
"I'm a veteran. I fought to preserve the rights of this country, to preserve the Constitution, and preserve the rights of everyone," said Don Atkinson.
By the time Biden's inauguration was done, there no demonstrators or protesters on the grounds of the capitol. But MSP was there. It's unclear when the national guard will leave but Lt. Shaw said MSP is sticking around a while.
"There will always be someone here seen and unseen," Shaw said. "We are going to continue a visible presence here probably through February. Naturally, we reevaluate every day."
The Michigan Conservative Coalition sent a message to tens of thousands of members, urging them not to attend protests on Wednesday as to not be lumped in with those causing chaos like what happened in Washington on January 6.