FRI 30 Jul, 2021
International

America is trembling over possible arms protest

Washington, D.C., was locked down and US law enforcement officials geared up for pro-Trump marches in all 50 state capitals this weekend, erecting barriers and deploying thousands of National Guard troops to try to prevent the kind of violent attack that rattled the nation on Jan. 6.

The FBI warned police agencies of possible armed protests outside all 50 state capitol buildings starting Saturday through President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, fueled by supporters of President Donald Trump who believe his false claims of electoral fraud.
Michigan, Virginia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Washington were among states that activated their National Guards to strengthen security. Texas closed its Capitol through Inauguration Day.

Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said in a statement late Friday that intelligence indicated "violent extremists" may seek to exploit planned armed protests in Austin to "conduct criminal acts."

The scramble followed the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington by a mix of extremists and Trump supporters, some of whom planned to kidnap members of Congress and called for the death of Vice President Mike Pence as he presided over the certification of Biden's victory in November's election.

Law enforcement officials have trained much of their focus on Sunday, when the anti-government "boogaloo" movement flagged plans to hold rallies in all 50 states.

In Michigan a fence was erected around the Capitol in Lansing and troopers were mobilized from across the state to bolster security. The legislature canceled meetings next week, citing concern over credible threats.

"We are prepared for the worst but we remain hopeful that those who choose to demonstrate at our Capitol do so peacefully," Michigan State Police Director Joe Gasper told a news conference on Friday.

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