Before Joseph R. Biden Jr. took the oath of office in Washington, a lone pro-Trump protester stood in front of the statehouse in Concord, N.H., holding a Trump-Pence campaign sign with “Pence” scratched out in black marker.
The man, who declined to give his name because he feared retribution and “a subversive Communist police state,” said he had crossed off the former vice president’s name because he had presided over the joint session of Congress that certified Mr. Biden’s election.
He added that he had taken the day off to be there and was surprised that not a single other demonstrator had shown up. He left the plaza before Mr. Biden was sworn-in at noon.
“I’m going skiing,” the man said.
Shortly after he left, Paul and Donna Merrill stationed themselves on the sidewalk in front of the plaza with an American flag and three homemade signs, including ones reading “We love you President Trump” and “Jesus is refuge.”
“We’re losing our freedoms as we speak,” Mr. Merrill said.
A Jeep with a large “thin blue line” flag in support of the police drove past their small demonstration on Main Street, honking in apparent support.
“People are losing hope,” Ms. Merrill said. “It’s a sad day for our country.”
In Lansing, Mich., four people stood vigil outside the State Capitol as Mr. Biden gave his inaugural address.
“There are a lot of questions left unanswered, and I wish there was more transparency, “ said Don Atkinson, 50, who owns a carpentry business in Clinton Township.
Mr. Atkinson, who said he is an Air Force veteran who served in the Iraq war, was dressed in military fatigues, carried a semi-automatic rifle and wore the Roman numeral III patch of the “Three Percenters,” an anti-government, pro-gun group.
“I hope both sides could agree on a winner and a loser and so we won’t be so divided,” he said. “Hopefully we can get through this.”
Lansing had been locked down — with a large police presence and the state office building and numerous businesses boarded up — in preparation for what was expected to be a larger protest.
In Tallahassee, Fla., a handful of peaceful protesters arrived at the State Capitol before Mr. Biden took the oath of office. One held up a sign saying, “Stop Election Fraud.” Another wore a MAGA hat and a Trump mask, and carried a sign saying “Thank you President Trump! The World Needed You!” Another sign read, “Trump Won!”
The Capitol has been under heavy protection in recent days in anticipation of possible armed protests against Mr. Biden’s inauguration.
Atlanta, capital of Georgia, also saw only a handful of protesters gather outside the statehouse.
“We’re here to stand up for our rights,” said Rhonda Beach, a 50-year-old housewife. “The election was stolen. It’s not fair.”
Ms. Beach drove from Monticello, Ga., about an hour southeast of Atlanta, with her husband Anthony Beach, to rally with their niece, Elizabeth Webb. They carried signs that said “We love our country” on one side and “We hate our government” on the other.
Although Ms. Webb, a 42-year-old from Calhoun, Ga., said, “I love Trump, and I’m behind him,” she acknowledged that he had contributed to ideological division in the country.
She added that she believed that Mr. Biden and the Democrats were to blame for the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. “We don’t tear stuff up,” she said of Republicans. “That’s not how we act.”
One of the few other demonstrators, a 46-year-old construction worker who identified himself only as Patrick, showed up armed with a bow-and-arrow and a sword.
“It’s just a show of force, like they’re doing,” he said, pointing to the police and National Guard troops ringing the statehouse. “I ain’t come here to start no trouble.”
View original Post