All 50 US States On Alert For Armed Protests Today
All 50 US states are on alert for possible violent protests this weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration this week, January 20.
Following a warning from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that armed marches in support of Donald Trump could take place at all state Capitols, National Guard troops have been deployed across Washington DC to deter possible riots.
Posts on pro-Trump and far-right online networks have called for protests on a number of dates, with today, January 17, being one of them.
The groups are also said to be planning a march in Washington DC on January 20, inauguration day itself, BBC News reports.
However, some supporters have urged others not to attend, citing heavy security and claims that the planned events are ‘police traps’.
One internal FBI bulletin, which was seen by ABC News, warned that one group has called for ‘storming’ state, local and federal courthouses across the US on the day Biden takes office.
Ahead of January 20, much of Washington DC will be placed in lockdown and National Guard troops will be deployed in their thousands.
Already, many streets have been blocked off with concrete barriers and metal fences. At the request of the Secret Service, the National Mall, which is usually jam-packed with people for inaugurations, has been shut.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Biden’s team have already urged US citizens to avoid travelling to the capital and urged them to watch the event remotely.
Elsewhere in the country, several other states are also taking precautionary measures. In Maryland, New Mexico and Utah, governors have declared states of emergency ahead of possible protests.
California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin are activating their National Guards, while Texas shut its state capitol from yesterday until inauguration day.
Speaking to press on Thursday, January 14, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam told protestors: ‘If you’re planning to come here or up to Washington with ill intent in your heart, you need to turn around right now and go home.’
He added: ‘You are not welcome here, and you’re not welcome in our nation’s capital. And if you come here and act out, Virginia will be ready.’
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