COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Armed Trump supporters, and Black Lives Matter activists, both showed up to Sunday’s planned protest in front of a heavily-guarded Ohio Statehouse.
Ohio State Patrol’s troopers in black and the Ohio National Guard in camouflage guarded the steps and the statues as people began arriving at 12:15 p.m. On Thursday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine had authorized the guard’s mobilization.
As sleet and then snow fell on the Statehouse, small groups of people with signs and flags began to fill the square.
In front of the cenotaph, a bald man in fluorescent orange and yellow shoes with pink socks and shorts, in a t-shirt that said: “Dancing for Peace” on one side, and “The Dancing Trucker” on the other, began vibing to the music playing in his headphones.
By 12:35 p.m. the crowd had thickened, with a handful of people carrying signs. Some of those were Biden/Harris and Black Lives Matter signs, with a large group of Black Lives Matter protesters joining the crowd. Two people from opposing sides held a vigorous discussion, but walked away from each other peaceably.
By 1 p.m., the crowd was about 50 percent Black Lives Matter with the other half waving various flags and signs, some with tactical clothing and guns. One man wore a Revolutionary War re-enactment wig and clothing and carried a rifle.
Under a steady fall of snow, and then wind and sleet, the main group of inauguration protesters left at lunchtime, around 1:30 p.m., and the crowd thinned out until only the troopers, the guards, and the statues graced the Statehouse grounds.