Gov. DeWine mobilizes National Guard ahead of planned armed protests
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - During a virtual press conference Thursday morning, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a proclamation that mobilizes the Ohio National Guard ahead of protests expected in the coming days.
According to an internal FBI memo, armed protests are planned at all 50 state capitols and the U.S. Capitol ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden.
“We will respect the rights of peaceful protesters,” DeWine said. “But we were horrified by what we all saw (during the riots at the U.S. Capitol). ... People want to turn peaceful protests into an opportunity for violence. That won’t be tolerated in Ohio.”
The Ohio National Guard will serve as needed in assistance to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, which handles security at the Ohio Statehouse, along with local law enforcement in Columbus. DeWine said if the need arises elsewhere in the state, the National Guard will be available in those locations as well.
DeWine also authorized another 500 members of the Ohio National Guard to be sent to Washington D.C. to assist with security around Inauguration Day, bringing the total to around 700 from Ohio.
The Ohio Statehouse will be closed Sunday through Wednesday next week, as well as all state buildings in downtown Columbus.
“It’s time to observe the peaceful transition of power,” DeWine said.
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