Mass. law enforcement preparing for possible protests ahead of inauguration

BOSTON — With just days before the Presidential Inauguration, warnings of armed protests planned at state capitols across the country continue.

In Massachusetts, law enforcement officials said Saturday night that they still do not know of any planned protests but are taking precautions in case.

On Sunday morning numerous roads were closed.

Those streets later reopened on Sunday afternoon.

At the State House, some windows were noticeably covered by plexiglass.

“We live right next door to the State House and we have witnessed all of the protests,” said neighbor John Bowman.

Bowman said after witnessing dozens of protests and rallies this summer, he is confident in law enforcement’s ability to manage contentious situations.

“Massachusetts is a blue state, there was nothing going on here politically that was going to be changed by the presence of unruly people, so I don’t feel like this is a real magnet as other states have been,” he said.

On Saturday night, a spokesperson for Massachusetts State Police told Boston 25 News that they’re ready for “any and all contingencies,” and are “monitoring intelligence around the clock.”

Earlier in the day, Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey echoed calls for vigilance during a Zoom interview with Boston 25.

“We need to ensure that states and cities across our country also are on alert, and I know that the FBI is ensuring that every community knows that there could be a potential attack in or around Inauguration Day.”

Warnings of armed protests come in the wake of the attack on the U.S. Capitol building 10 days ago.

On Friday, Gov. Charlie Baker reiterated that there were no known threats targeting the State House, but did say there will be public safety personnel strategically located across the Commonwealth.

“I feel quite confident in the plans and the protocols that they’re putting in place,” he said. “We’re also calling up about 500 Guard personnel to basically be on standby in case anything comes up that we need to deal with in Massachusetts over the next few days.”

Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported that the FBI is warning of armed protests across all state capitols, beginning as early as Sunday.

Investigators allegedly reported that some of the people involved are members of extremist groups.

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