More media and police than protesters at planned armed march in Harrisburg


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Armed marches were supposedly planned for every state capitol in the country Sunday afternoon, but in Harrisburg, only a handful of people showed up without incident.

The story today was not really about a protest but about the dozens of worldwide media there to cover it.

Capitol police were guarding the statehouse and state troopers on horseback were positioned throughout the city. It was all a precaution after Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“People have a right to protest peacefully but when it gets to the point where the violence kicks in and people are potentially hurt, that’s where we have a concern,” said Harrisburg Deputy Police Chief Deric Moody.

But only a few people showed up, including one man who identified himself as a freedom-loving Pennsylvania citizen.

“You know I was curious what may or may not be going on here,” he said. “We wanted to witness what was actually happening.”

Activist Gene Stilp symbolically tore down a cutout of President Trump to a large crowd of reporters and photographers.

And a man named Alex from Hershey was seen sporting a “Fraud 2020” sweatshirt, disparaging President-elect Joe Biden and complaining about things posted online.

“Anything that makes Trump look bad gets put right out in front,” he complained.

Moody says they needed to be prepared for anything and though nothing happened, it was still a good exercise in communication.

“What it should show the public is that you have a host of different law enforcement agencies here from the State Police to the federal partners that are all working together,” Moody said.

The next event to be prepared for is Inauguration Day on Wednesday. Moody said people can expect similar road closures then.

“We have a plan in place to deal with the inauguration day as well,” Moody said. “Our specific tactics I won’t go over with the media.”

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