ST. PAUL — Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday, Jan. 13, issued an executive order activating the Minnesota National Guard in response to claims that state capitol buildings across the U.S. are being eyed by armed protesters.
The governor announced his intent to mobilize the guard one day earlier. Separately, approximately 130 Minnesota National Guard troops will be deploying to Washington, D.C., to help prevent a repeat of the violent riot that shook the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6.
Armed protesters are said to be planning another rally like the one that preceded that riot both in D.C. and in all 50 state capitals, including St. Paul, according to previous reports. In a statement, Walz said Minnesota will support the right of protesters to demonstrate peacefully but will hold accountable "anyone involved in violent, illegal activity."
- FBI warns of plans of violence by extremists at Minnesota Capitol this weekend
- Walz to deploy Minnesota National Guard to protect state Capitol against threatened violence
- More than 130 Minnesota National Guard troops will take part in Inauguration Day mission in Washington
"We are tracking reports and monitoring the situation closely to enhance our response and change tactics as needed," Walz said.
Troops in St. Paul will coordinate with local law enforcement agencies as well as the Minnesota State Patrol and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation officers, according to a release from Walz's office. The release did not say how many troops will deploy to St. Paul or for how long.
The executive order activating the Guard states that will remain in effect until it is no longer needed or until Jan. 27, whichever is earlier.