Getting ready

State governments across the country have been warned by the FBI that militant groups are planning a series of armed protests at their state capitols as inauguration day approaches on Jan. 20.

In light of the armed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, capitol buildings across the country are being made more secure with fences, barricades and plans to deploy National Guard troops. Gov. Tim Walz has announced the Guard will be stationed at the Minnesota Capitol to defend against armed violence.

Legal protests that are being planned will not be impeded, but a repeat of the assault on the U.S. Capitol will not.

A Dec. 29 FBI memo said “a few Minnesota-based followers of the Boogaloo movement” attended legal protests at the Minnesota Capitol last month to “perform reconnaissance” on law enforcement and to identify “escape points and defensible positions in the event that violence occurred.” It said they also scouted out “law enforcement sniper locations” that would need to be blown up to protect extreme right-wing Boogaloo fighters if a gun battle broke out.

We have all learned that it doesn’t take much for a protest to turn violent. Last May when protests in Minneapolis followed the death of George Floyd, they were allowed to turn violent as Minneapolis law enforcement followed a non-confrontational strategy. That resulted in the burning of the MPD Third Precinct building and the burning and looting of many businesses in sections of Minneapolis and St. Paul. That deplorable violence should not be allowed to take hold at the State Capitol this weekend or next week.


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