Watchful Eye Remains on State Capitol in Downtown Lansing

While rumors of protests at the state Capitol building Sunday didn’t meet expectations, many are keeping an eye on downtown Lansing as inauguration day for President-elect Joe B…

While rumors of protests at the state Capitol building Sunday didn’t meet expectations, many are keeping an eye on downtown Lansing as inauguration day for President-elect Joe Biden nears.

Even Airbnb has weighed in, announcing over the weekend it will be reviewing reservations and may cancel bookings by anyone determined to be part of a hate group.

“If we confirm that guests are associated with a violent hate group or otherwise not allowed on our platform for violating certain community policies prohibiting violence or engaging in criminal activity, we will cancel those reservations and ban them from Airbnb,” the San Francisco-based company said in a statement.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a statement following the Airbnb announcement.

“I want to commend Airbnb for taking this important step to help keep our Capitol safe in light of this coming week’s activities,” Nessel said. “I appreciate their concern with our public safety, and I am grateful.”

There will be watchful eyes on the state Capitol through the week and possibly beyond. Passersby will note an increased police presence, and the National Guard has given assurance it will be available if needed.

As for downtown businesses, it’s pandemic-restricted businesses as usual.

“I believe the entire downtown community, and city as a whole, breathed a great sigh of relief that Sunday was relatively quiet,” said Cathleen Edgerly, executive director for Downtown Lansing Inc. “While we don’t yet fully know how this week will continue to unfold, our team at DLI continues to work to keep our businesses updated as we look toward inauguration day.”

Edgerly noted that downtown has been as resilient as possible over the last 12 months.

“It’s no secret that downtown Lansing businesses have faced the challenges of this past year and the past week with spirit and resiliency,” she said. “They continue to look out for one another and stay positive overall. They’ll need even more support over the next week and beyond, so we encourage the Lansing community to consider making a purchase or placing a takeout order in the coming weeks to lift up these downtown businesses.”

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