Small turnout at Georgia Capitol for protests; security to remain tight

ATLANTA — Threats of armed protests in at all 50 state capitols Sunday has prompted heavy security from multiple agencies in downtown Atlanta

Road closures could impact traffic for days.

Less than two weeks after the deadly attack on our nation’s capitol, hundreds of officers and armored vehicles are surrounding Georgia’s state Capitol. Roads around the Gold Dome have also been blocked off with dump trucks.

Georgia National Guardsmen are holding positions around Capitol Square, but the security zone stretches out for blocks.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Channel 2′s Tony Thomas was downtown, where he saw law enforcement and dump trucks blocking off parts of Central, MLK, Mitchell, Trinity and Capitol avenues. Parking anywhere around the Capitol and City Hall is blocked off.

Atlanta police said the restrictions around City Hall will be in place Sunday and on Wednesday, the day President-elect Joe Biden is Inaugurated in D.C..

On Sunday, things in downtown Atlanta appeared to remain calm. A planned armed protest outside Georgia’s Capitol drew only a few people. A few Black Lives Matter counter-protesters were also at the Capitol.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]


Still, the scene was unnerving to residents.

Sue Roe is used to walking her dog in the area every morning, but Sunday felt different.

“I’m fighting back tears as I walk by,” Roe said. “It changes your perspective a little bit. It puts you always on guard. It’s choosing what time to go out and walk. I’m not used to doing that.”

Landon Brown lives close by and said he felt safe when he rode up on his bike. He said he thinks the heightened security was the right decision.

“I think it’s unfortunate, but I think this is a good idea,” Brown said. “I think having law enforcement and things being watched closely right now is a good idea. A safe move.”

Brown said that when he watched the violence unfold in D.C. it scared him. He hopes the country will come together in the days ahead.

“(I hope) that all of these people coming into office can help the rest of us Americans relate to each other again to get back to the middle back to the dinner table,” Brown said.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]