More than a dozen states activated National Guard troops to help secure their capitol buildings following an FBI warning of armed demonstrations, with right-wing extremists emboldened by the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6.
Security officials had eyed Sunday as the first major flashpoint, as that is when the anti-government “boogaloo” movement made plans weeks ago to hold rallies in all 50 states.
But by late Sunday afternoon, only handfuls of demonstrators had taken to the streets alongside much larger crowds of law enforcement officers and media personnel.
“It was a non-event today and we are glad it was,” said Troy Thompson, spokesman for the Department of General Services, the agency that protects the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg.
On Sunday afternoon, police opened streets around the building that had been blocked off in anticipation of bigger crowds.
Only a few Trump supporters had shown up, including Alex, a 34-year-old drywall finisher from Hershey, Pennsylvania who said he had been at the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol but did not storm the building. He declined to give his last name.
Wearing a hoodie emblazoned with “Fraud 2020”, he said he believed November’s presidential election was stolen and wanted to show his support for Trump. He noted the lack of protesters at the Pennsylvania capitol on Sunday.
“There’s nothing going on,” he said.