State capitals prepare for possible protests ahead of inauguration

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Many state capitols are bracing for potential violence ahead of inauguration day, following last week’s assault on the US Capitol.

The group Hold the Line Minnesota has hosted several protests this winter. While those have all remained peaceful, the FBI warned of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

“We have looked at all the different vulnerabilities around the Capitol and around possible attacks and no matter how small, or how large, we have taken the right steps to stop that from happening. No detail has been overlooked,” Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said.

Harrington says they have not found any credible local threats.

“We are turning over every rock and looking under every bush to see if there is anything else out there,” Harrington said.

Governor Tim Walz has activated the Minnesota National Guard to protect the state Capitol… and that’s not all.

“We’re talking about security, we’re talking about threats, we’re talking fences, we’re talking about sending National Guard to the capital on one of the most joyous, should be, one of the most joyous days in our democracy. The peaceful transformation of power from one elected official to another. And shame on this country if we try and normalize what’s happening here. Shame on this country if we don’t hold those that made this situation accountable,” Walz said.

Across the border in Iowa, authorities are boarding up judicial buildings and historic courthouses in Des Moines ahead of the weekend.

South Dakota officials can’t discuss security, but we do know people in Pierre may notice some changes when it comes to their mail.

Friday the US Postal service announced it is closing some post offices early. They’re also temporarily removing three blue mail collection boxes located near the capitol.

We’ve also learned a pro-Trump Christian group – known as The Jericho March – has a permit to gather and pray in the Capitol Rotunda on Sunday. The group has been gathering every Sunday since December.

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