While the US Capitol is fortified with miles of fencing augmented by thousands of National Guard troops, state capitols and government facilities throughout the US are preparing for a potentially violent weekend.
At state capitol buildings throughout the US, windows are being boarded and fences are being erected in hopes of preventing scenes similar to those that played out at the US Capitol on Jan. 6.
One official in Vermont said this is the highest alert his state has been on since 9/11.
"There is a heightened state of alert and concern that we have not seen since 9/11,” said, Mike Schirling Vemont public safety commissioner.
While Vermont has not activated their National Guard, Schirling said Vermont’s National Guard is ready. Other states, like Kentucky, have already activated their National Guard.
“What we're hearing is that there are legitimate threats against state capitol buildings all over the country. And so our goal is to be prepared, to ensure that what happened at the US Capitol never, ever happens here,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in an interview with CNN. “And I think that takes two things. Number one, to have the man and the woman power. We have already activated our National Guard for any additional assistance. But number two is recognizing these people for who they are.
“You know, this is a paradigm shift that we have seen since the domestic terror attack on the capitol, kind of like 9/11, that used to be that you thought a hijacker of a plane was going to land it, and negotiate for the hostages. No more. So we've got to know these people intend to cause violence, that they are domestic terrorists, and stop playing paddy cake with these so-called militias.”
Social media companies have warned that there has been increased chatter and organization from far-right users and channels plotting potentially violent protests this weekend in hopes of disrupting the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. While many are plotting in support of President Donald Trump, the president released a statement earlier this week urging his supporters not to be violent at upcoming protests.
“Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement,” Trump said. “Making America great again has always been about defending the rule of law.”
Trump has been widely criticized by Democrats, and even many Republican leaders, for his words leading up to the Capitol riot. Those comments led to him getting impeached by the House, and being banned from a number of social media platforms.
Twitter said it was working to limit the spread of posts about possible violent protests planned for January 17.
“Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021,” Twitter said late last week.