VIDEO REPORT: Protests remain peaceful thus far in Lansing


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)— Dozens have gathered at Michigan’s Capitol in Lansing this afternoon, in protest of Wednesday’s inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden.

Dozens gather at Michigan Capitol on Sunday, January 17 in protest of Wednesday’s inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden on Wednesday January 20.

Today’s events follow the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.

President Trump has said he won’t attend the inauguration on Wednesday, and will leave the nation’s Capital Wednesday morning just before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration to begin his post-presidential life in Florida.

Trump will become only the fourth president in history to boycott his successor’s inauguration. Biden said he was just fine with that, calling it “one of the few things we have ever agreed on.”

Here in Lansing, shortly after the events on Jan. 6 in Washington, the Michigan Capitol Commission banned the open carry of guns in Michigan’s Capitol. That effort first began following a plot last year to storm the statehouse last summer.

Michigan State Police spoke at a press conference on Friday and gave an update on how they’re preparing for the protest here in Lansing.

Officials said the Michigan National Guard along with law enforcement from across the state will all be at the Capitol this weekend. They said they won’t be leaving anytime soon.

Members of the National Guard line the streets in downtown Lansing on Sunday, January 17

“We have already increased our visible uniform presence in and around the capitol. This increase in staffing happened on Monday and will be in place until at least mid-February,” Col. Joe Gasper said.

“If you are going to come down to the Capitol and demonstrate peacefully, then we will provide that safe space for you. If you are coming to the Capitol to engage in some nefarious activity, then we are also very well prepared to address that.” said Col. Joe Gasper

Several armed militia groups said they plan to protest at the Lansing Capitol on Sunday.

After last week, the Lansing Police Chief said they will be ready.

“The City of Lansing is prepared. We are very confident about our preparedness. And again, we have coordinated extremely well,” Chief Daryl Green said.

Another security measure put in place was the 6-foot fence put around the Capitol and City Hall.

Ahead of today’s events,  Lansing Mayor Andy Schor issued the following statement urging the community to avoid the Capitol and its surrounding downtown area:

“In light of expected demonstrations at the Capitol Building this Sunday, I urge everyone to avoid coming to the Capitol and surrounding area. Downtown Lansing residents should consider planning ahead to stay inside and avoid this demonstration. Downtown is a vibrant neighborhood and residents and businesses there should feel confident knowing that the Lansing Police Department is working closely with the Michigan State Police, Ingham County Sheriff’s Department and other police agencies to ensure these planned events remain peaceful.

Andy Schor, Lansing Mayor

The video below shows a report at the start of the protest shortly after Noon.

<<< The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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