Columbus prepares for potential protest at Ohio Statehouse

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COLUMBUS, OH (WCMH)- Columbus is bracing for expected armed protests at the Ohio Statehouse this weekend. Today City and state leaders stood together and called for peace.

“Today let the message be Columbus, Ohio stands together. Columbus, Ohio is sending a message to our community that we will not tolerate this,” said Rep. Joyce Beatty, (D) Ohio.

Columbus joins capital cities across the nation that are preparing for armed protests. Today Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan said they will be working with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ohio National Guard to ensure that protests remain peaceful.

“There will be no tolerance for illegal activity, no tolerance for property destruction, or causing harm to others, or defacing our symbols of government,” said Chief Quinlan.

Chief Quinlan said after what we saw happen at the U.S. Capitol, they hope to be overprepared but underwhelmed.

“We can’t claim that we were, that we didn’t have advanced notice. January 6 made it very clear to everyone and any responsible police chief in this country is on notice,” said Chief Quinlan.

For those who are not protesting in Columbus, city officials are asking that everyone who can avoids the downtown area during this “uncertain time.”

“What hate groups want is confrontation, to give them a platform and to amplify their message. Let’s not give it to them,” said Mayor Andrew Ginther, (D) Columbus.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Mayor Ginther has announced the City’s downtown campus will be closed to the public. It was already scheduled to be closed on Monday to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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