The possibility of major protests that some feared would materialize at state capitals and elsewhere around the country on Inauguration Day mostly fizzled out, with a small group of black-clad protesters showing up in Sacramento and scattered groups demonstrating across Southern California.

The FBI warned last week that gun-toting demonstrators could show up at all 50 statehouses and in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, the day of President Joe Biden’s swearing-in.

With security tightened around the country following the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, right-wing protesters showed up in far smaller numbers than some expected.

Over the last few days, a handful of gun-toting protesters stood outside state houses in Oregon, Ohio, Michigan and Texas. None attempted to breach any of those buildings.

Several Los Angeles-area law enforcement agencies on Tuesday promised to be out in force on Inauguration Day, and warned any violence would be met with a swift response.

Three events scheduled for the downtown L.A. area met little police response. A car rally was expected to drive around MacArthur Park by the afternoon and a local roofer and waterproofer union held a small rally near City Hall, celebrating the inauguration and calling for pro-worker aims, such as a path to citizenship for undocumented workers.

After the workers union rally,  a small group of anti-racist protesters challenged LAPD officers who told a food truck in support of the rally to leave the area.

About a dozen protesters stood off with motorcycle officers on Main Street near First Street. “Move, … get out the way, get out the way,” protesters chanted at officers, walking toward them.

Minutes later, officers on horseback formed a line and pushed toward protesters and members of the media, forcing the group to scramble, some narrowly squeezing through the threat of being trampled.

The horseback officers left the protesters and crossed the street toward the LAPD headquarters building and did not return.

About 20 people supporting Trump showed up in Cerritos and demonstrated for a few hours on Wednesday. They received both jeers and cheers in about equal numbers, but there were no counter protesters or scuffles. The only tense moment was when someone driving by threw a cup of water at the group.

“Sometimes people drive by and give us the finger,” said Kendel Montera, a Trump supporter at the demonstration. “That’s OK, it’s America.”

Another two dozen or so protesters falsely claiming Trump won the election and Biden cheated showed up near the Duck Pond in Temecula on Wednesday.

“We are one nation under fraud,” said Billl Kezar, of Chino, wearing a tri-corner hat and carrying his small dog.

Along the coast, the pro-Trump enclave of Huntington Beach also remained quiet, said Huntington Beach police Lt. Brian Smith.

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Typically, crowds gather along Pacific Coast Highway in front of the pier.

“We do have additional staffing in place,” Smith said. “But we have no reports of any planned rallies or protests.”

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One man was seen collecting signatures in front of the Home Depot on Lugonia Avenue in Redlands in an attempt to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom. The man has been set up there for several days, city spokesman Carl Baker said.

Some of the larger groups that did show up on Wednesday near statehouses appeared to be left wing. In Sacramento, about 60 people marched toward California’s Capitol building on Wednesday, holding a sign that said “Abolish ICE,” and chanting their opposition to both former President Donald Trump and Biden.

Staff writer Beau Yarbrough contributed to this story.



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