Al-Sabah is still free of protest in the country’s capitals
by Dan Simons, Kristin Spolar, Maria Sachetti, Matthew Lapalante, Cathy Lynn Gray and Peter Whiskey
The Capitol was quiet across much of the country at midday on Sunday morning, although many of them were kept under heavy guard by state police and National Guard.
In Frankfurt, Kentucky, about a dozen Humvees carrying soldiers in vests stamped with “Military Police” entered. Large electronic signs flashed, “Capitol Square closed,” with light snow. In Madison, Wisconsin, overworked National Guard forces carrying rifles, riot shields and helmets off nine buses a block from the Wisconsin Capitol. Three hours before the noon demonstration planned by Trump supporters, the scene was mostly empty.
Humvees were also blocking entrances to a parking garage near the Ohio State House in Columbus. Lieutenant Craig S. Svetan, the public affairs commander for the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said the patrol was not aware of any groups planning to congregate in the building – although a small number of individual protesters had begun to appear.
Kathy Sherman, a retired sculptor, wearing red shoes and a Trump face shield, carried a banner that read, among other things, “Defending Citizen’s Right” and expressing support for both the right to bear arms and the peaceful expression of opinion. Sherman immediately commanded the kind of media attention that many mayors envy.
She told a group of reporters and photographers, “My boss – Mr. Trump – thank you, thank you for your non-political commercial leadership.” She said that of any event that might happen in the State House today, “it must be peaceful.”
In the west, a police bar nearly surrounded a mile of the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City, and state soldiers were stationed across the frost-covered government complex. The protesters have not yet arrived. “They should be outside now when the light is so beautiful,” said one of the soldiers, as the sun rose over the Wasatch Mountains. “Come at noon, the sun will be in the sky, and it will not be very beautiful.”