‘This is step one’: DeWine activates 580 National Guard members ahead of inauguration

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COLUMBUS (WJW) — As the presidential inauguration day nears, Gov. DeWine announced he has activated members of the Ohio National Guard to help in Washington D.C. along with Ohio.

The act comes as Washington D.C. law enforcement prepares for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, following disruptive riots at the U.S. Capitol building last week. States are also preparing across the country for potential armed protests at their own capitols, which the FBI recently warned of in a bulletin.

“People have the right to protest,” DeWine said during a press conference. “They do not have the right to be destructive or hurt other people. We welcome peaceful protesters, but we saw what happened at the Capitol, so we are concerned.”

When asked why well more than 580 National Guard members were activated during the summer protests across the state, DeWine said that this is only the first step and that he was fully prepared to activate more if necessary.

“We’re not done with steps,” he said. “I’m in contact with the mayors of our major cities. During the summer, we sent members of the National Guard when requested by the mayors … Since this tragedy in Washington, we have been reviewing with our national intelligence people … this is step one.”

DeWine said the exact number activated now was done with the advice of Major General John C. Harris, Jr. The National Guard will be activated Jan. 14 through Jan. 21, DeWine said, but that can be expanded.

“There may be more to come, we’ll see,” DeWine said.

President Trump said today he didn’t want any violence, as seen in the video below:

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