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National 'Armed March' Comes To Ohio Statehouse

Troopers from the Ohio State Patrol and soldiers from the Ohio National Guard guard the Ohio Statehouse Saturday, Jan. 16, before an armed march that loomed Sunday ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Troopers from the Ohio State Patrol and soldiers from the Ohio National Guard guard the Ohio Statehouse Saturday, Jan. 16, before an armed march that loomed Sunday ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

People with guns, bats and bullhorns gathered at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus Sunday as part of a nationwide armed march planned at statehouses across the country. Ohio was the only one in the Tri-State to see people gather in an effort the FBI had warned was being organized by far-right extremist groups. 

An armed protester as seen during an armed march at the Ohio Statehouse ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Sunday, Jan. 17 in Columbus.
Credit Jason Whitman / WVXU
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An armed protester as seen during an armed march at the Ohio Statehouse ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Sunday, Jan. 17 in Columbus.

According to tweets from reporters stationed at the Statehouses of Ohio's Tri-State neighbors of Kentucky and Indiana, scenes there were quiet, with no rally-goers, only police.

Saying "violence will not be tolerated in Ohio," Gov. Mike DeWine earlier in the week called in the highway patrol and the Ohio National Guard to back up Columbus police. He also ordered the closure of Ohio's Statehouse and all state office buildings starting Sunday through Joe Biden's Inauguration Day on Wednesday, Jan. 20. 

Ohio National Guard soldiers load vehicles in the snow during an armed march at the Ohio Statehouse on Sunday, Jan. 17. in Columbus.
Credit Jason Whitman / WVXU
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Ohio National Guard soldiers load vehicles in the snow during an armed march at the Ohio Statehouse on Sunday, Jan. 17. in Columbus.

As such, nearby businesses took preparations as well, boarding up storefronts. 

Businesses near the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus boarded up windows in anticipation of violence from armed protests ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday, Jan. 16.
Credit Jason Whitman / WVXU
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Businesses near the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus boarded up windows in anticipation of violence from armed protests ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday, Jan. 16.

Some in attendance on Sunday identified themselves as "Ohio Boogaloo Bois," which according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, is often "presented as a race-blind call for armed insurrection against government tyranny."

They set off for the Statehouse shortly before noon Sunday. 

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Credit Jason Whitman / WVXU
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A few claiming to support President Donald Trump did show up, with one carrying a sign that read, "Impeach Gonzalez," a reference to Northeast Ohio GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who on Jan. 14 broke with his party and voted to impeach Trump for inciting violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. 

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Credit Jason Whitman / WVXU
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Reports indicate there were around 100 people in attendance of the rally, including a very small number of counter-protesters. 

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Credit Karen Kasler / Twitter
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Roughly two hours after the first group approached the Statehouse, the crowd started to thin out. No violence had taken place.  

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