LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Local law enforcement were on high alert Sunday for planned armed protests outside of the Michigan Capitol. The turnout was roughly 25 protesters with the majority of the crowd counted as members of the media.
The protest at the Capitol remained peaceful, according to police and there were no arrests.
Militia members and other groups were expected to arrive in Lansing in protest of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. This comes nearly two weeks after the insurrection and riots at the U.S. Capitol that turned deadly.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer activated the Michigan National Guard ahead of the planned armed protests at the Capitol building.
Thousands of National Guard members were also dispatched to Washington D.C. ahead of planned protests there as well.
The potential for armed protests locally even drew concern from companies such as Airbnb, which says they reviewed recently book reservations in Lansing ahead of protests planned for the weekend.
In a statement the company says they sill cancel reservations and ban users from Airbnb if they confirm guests are "associated with a violent hate group or otherwise not allowed on our platform for violating certain community policies prohibiting violence or engaging in criminal activity."
On Wednesday, 7 Action News spoke with a member of the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, who stated then that he and his 200 members have been to the Michigan Capitol many times over the years for Second Amendment rallies. They also attended the anti-lockdown protest in Lansing last year.
PHOTO GALLERY: HUNDREDS GATHER TO PROTEST STAY-AT-HOME ORDER
"We do not intend to remain silent," said Michael Lackomar, team leader of the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia. "We always go armed."
Stay with 7 Action News for live updates below and full coverage.
Just before 2 p.m. Sunday, much of the crowd outside of the Michigan Capitol had dispersed. Police said between 20 to 25 actual protesters showed up at the event, with the majority in attendance being part of the media. Protests did remain peaceful.
Capitol has pretty much cleared out. I’d estimate about 25 protesters showed up. Way larger media presence and even larger presence from law enforcement. Despite humvees lining the streets and a chopper hovering above, It was a pretty calm afternoon.— Brett Kast WXYZ (@brettkast) January 17, 2021
Lansing Mayor Andy Schor came out on the street to talk to people outside the Capitol. Here's his response to seeing Lansing filled with the National Guard. pic.twitter.com/jx8e1MSCbv— Brett Kast WXYZ (@brettkast) January 17, 2021
We spoke with US Congresswoman @ElissaSlotkin today. She came to Lansing in the midst of an armed protest at the State Capitol, which is in her district. Less than a week ago, she voted to impeach President Trump. I asked her if she was worried for her safety in the crowd. pic.twitter.com/JMJi29bYfV— Brett Kast WXYZ (@brettkast) January 17, 2021
Crowds begin to gather outside an empty Capitol building Sunday in protest of the election of Joe Biden.
7 Action News reporter Brett Kast is giving live updates from Lansing of the expected protests. Follow updates from Kast on Twitter: @BrettKast.
7 Action News has learned that protests are expected to begin at noon. The Michigan National Guard has also arrived in armored trucks around the Capitol.
Counterprotesters have also arrived at the Michigan Capitol.
The roads surrounding the Michigan Capitol have officially closed to traffic. There is a massive MSP presence around the capitol building, with officers also monitoring the area of bikes. At the moment, there are more members of the media present at the capitol than protesters.
In case anyone wondered... His name is Wayne Koper and he's from Caro. He explains the shirt in this video below. pic.twitter.com/kqymrAZRRI— Brett Kast WXYZ (@brettkast) January 17, 2021
Michigan State Police troopers seen outside of the Michigan Capitol building in preparation for armed protests later in the day.