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Capitol Protest Eclectic, But Small And Dull

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
A smaller than expected crowd protesting at the state capitol

Plans for a mass demonstration today at the state Capitol drew a large law enforcement presence, but only a small crowd of protesters.

A small group of demonstrators gathered at noon as nearby church bells rang, but the anticipated large numbers of protestors failed to materialize.

There were some people with guns and carrying signs expressing support for President Donald Trump, as well as their refusal to believe the results of the November election won by President-elect Joe Biden.

“That is fake! Fake!” screamed one man.

A helicopter hovered above the Capitol as police officers and National Guard troops stood watch. Boards covered many downtown doors and windows. But there were no major incidents. Which Lansing Mayor Andy Schor said was a relief.

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
A protestor at the demonstration carries an American flag

“You always hope for the best but prepare for the worst," Schor said.

Lawrence Wenke was also there. The former Republican state representative from Kalamazoo said he wanted to help send a different message. 

"I’m here to support Governor Whitmer and the difficult decisions she has to make, and government in general, and the COVID virus has certainly changed the world that we live in and adjustments and tough decisions have had to be made,” Wenke said.

This demonstration was a stark contrast to the loud and rowdy crowd that filled the state Capitol in April, as well as the attempted to coup by Trump supporters at the US Capitol.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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