Illinois State Capitol boarded up as the National Guard prepares for protests

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois National Guard has been activated after the FBI’s warning about threats to state capitals cities in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

There are 250 members of the guard in Springfield to help people exercise their right to peacefully protest while protecting property and maintaining the safety of residents.

WCIA-TV captured images of workers boarding up the Illinois State Capitol to secure it for next week. All first floor and lower access windows are being covered. There is a Save Our State Rally planned for Saturday.  Those have been routine in the months following the election.

The FBI issued a warning on Monday based on intelligence that said there is the potential for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C. in the days leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

“The Illinois State Police will work side by side with the Illinois National Guard and our local partners to execute our mission of protecting the democratic process,” writes ISP Director Brendan Kelly. 

A statement from Governor Pritzker’s office says that the Illinois National Guard will not interfere with peaceful protestors who are exercising their first amendment rights.  Their role is to aid in enforcing street closures and secure areas.

An additional 100 Illinois National Guard members will be joining the 200 members activated to assist in Biden’s inauguration in Washington DC on January 20, 2021.

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