The New York State Capitol saw a very quiet objection to President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
Only one supporter of former President Donald Trump appeared at the Capitol in Albany, which was well fortified in anticipation of potential mass protests. After a deadly riot on January 6 at the US Capitol in Washington, the FBI warned of the possibility of armed demonstrations in all 50 capitals leading to Biden’s inauguration, after Trump repeatedly and falsely claimed that his election had been stolen.
Photographs from the Associated Press show that Mark Legiero from the city of Florida, Montgomery County, New York, was the only one who opposed the presidential transition on Wednesday.
“I went out to hope to join a bunch of peaceful protesters in support of the cause, which is now almost a lost cause, unfortunately, it̵
Legiero, wearing a “Make America Great Again” shirt and waving a pro-Trump flag, said Trump would always be its president: “It gave me spirit, it gave me pride, it wanted me to live free.”
WNYT reports that law enforcement officials have prepared for a much larger crowd in Albany, such as erecting barricades around the stairs to the Capitol and blocking traffic around the area. Security was also stepped up in and around the building, and Albany Mayor Kathy Sheen closed the town hall as a precaution.
Albany police, the New York State Police, the National Guard and the FBI issued a stern warning last week after pro-Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, killing five people and injuring more than 50. More than 145 people have been arrested since then, including at least a dozen in New York State.
“Make no mistake, if you break the law, you will be greeted with the full force of all our agencies. We remain committed to defending the right to your first amendment, but we will not advocate for breaking the law, “said Thomas Relford of the FBI’s Albany office.
Still, Legiero told Newsday that he was “looking for more patriots” to join him.
Larger demonstrations took place in other cities, including Denver, Seattle, Sacramento and Portland. Some burned American flags in front of the Colorado Capitol as protesters in the Oregon capital clashed with police as they demanded faster policy changes than Biden had promised. Few arrests have been reported.