COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Concern over violent protests at the Ohio Statehouse on Sunday eased when a small number of armed but peaceful protesters was significantly outnumbered by state troops and members of the National Guard during an afternoon rally.
More than two dozen protesters, some armed with assault rifles and wearing military clothing, argued with one another, sometimes with competing megaphones, over a mixture of causes, including over-government and electoral fraud from noon to just after 2 p.m.
The demonstrators were watched by numerous soldiers and members of the National Guard, whose members also guarded several points around the statehouse, including each entrance. Almost every shop around the main downtown square was boarded up.
Several protesters said they were members of the anti-government Boogaloo movement, whose members are advocating an impending civil war. They said they were inaccurately painted as a supporter of President Donald Trump, whom at least one protester hated with a saying.
A woman who supported Trump held a sign protesting the ban on right-wing content on social media platforms and removing Trump from Twitter and Facebook. Kathy Sherman, 71, also said Trump supporters were mistakenly labeled traitors, adding she did not believe the president instigated the Jan. 6 violation of the U.S. Capitol.
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