Gov. Tim Walz today activated the Minnesota National Guard to assist state and local law enforcement in public safety efforts in Saint Paul over the coming days. The governor’s action follows the violent insurrection at the United States Capitol last week and national reports of possible armed protests at state capitol buildings.
“We will always support Minnesotans’ First Amendment rights to peacefully protest, but anyone involved in violent, illegal activity will be held accountable,” said Walz. “We are tracking reports and monitoring the situation closely to enhance our response and change tactics as needed.”
The Minnesota National Guard will work in coordination with other state resources, including the Minnesota State Patrol and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers, as well as local law enforcement. In addition to the fence around the Minnesota Capitol that has been in place since last summer, the State Patrol has increased its presence to respond to various threats and prevent unlawful entry into the building and has continued to enhance readiness through training, equipment, and personnel.
In the wake of last week’s events in Washington D.C., Walz is visiting American history monuments across Minnesota this week to call for calm, civility and peace. Drawing on his roots as a high school history teacher, Walz is encouraging Minnesotans to reflect on the greater context that led to this dark moment in history, while calling on Minnesotans to come together to restore democracy for all.