A double row of chain-link fencing circles the Arizona State Capitol. Windows on the Illinois and Ohio statehouses have been boarded up. National Guard troops in camouflage and flak jackets and heavily armed state troopers are stationed at state capitals across the US in advance of protests planned for tomorrow.
With the FBI warning of potential for violence at all state capitols, the ornate halls of government and symbols of democracy look more like heavily guarded US embassies in war-torn countries.
Governors have declared states of emergency, closed capitols to the public and called up troops ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week.
They are trying to avoid a repeat of the mob rioting that occurred January 6, when supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol, leaving a Capitol Police officer and four others dead.
Details are vague, but demonstrations are expected at state capitols beginning tomorrow and leading up to Biden taking the oath of the office Wednesday.
Signs of ramped-up security are in abundance from Atlanta to Sacramento, California, throughout the week.
SWAT officers stand guard at the Georgia State Capitol. A bomb-detecting dog sniffs its way through the capitol in Jackson, Mississippi. State troopers are poised on the roof of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. Sections of temporary fencing encircling many state capitols are locked together in Sacramento with handcuffs.