San Diego

Defend East County Leader Unaware of Major Inauguration Protests Planned in San Diego

The FBI warned law enforcement agencies in 50 state capitals of possible armed protests

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Authorities across the country are on alert for any violence leading up to President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

President Donald Trump has issued an emergency declaration to bolster security in and around Washington D.C. and according to the Associated Press, the FBI warned law enforcement agencies in all 50 state capitals of possible armed protests.

There is a flyer circulating online urging armed protests around the country this weekend, but Justin Haskins, leader of civilian community defense organization Defend East County, said it likely won’t cause a stir because there isn’t significant name, or any name at all, behind it.

“Just some random flyer isn't going to pick up steam. People want to know who is organizing this,” Haskins said.

Haskins said he participated in the protest at the U.S. Capitol and his group demonstrated in Pacific Beach over the weekend. He said groups like his own are communicating better since demonstrators stormed the Capitol building last week, and he has yet to hear of any group organizing any armed militia protests.

“There is nobody taking ownership or claim to this. We have yet to see a patriot group organize without somebody's name behind it,” he said.

Come Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2021, Haskins said he hopes to be in the nation’s capital but doesn’t have a set plan.

Senior research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism Mark Pitcavage told the Associated Press, “a lot of people were energized by what happened last week. State capitals are a natural place where people might want to show up, especially assuming that they think there might be a huge presence of police and military in D.C. because of what happened last week.”

Haskins agreed, saying, “There are fanatics out there, there are extremists out there that will see this that probably will show up."

NBC 7 reached out to the San Diego police and sheriff's departments and asked if there are any changes in enforcement this weekend but has not heard back.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria released a statement Monday condemning the violent confrontations with police during weekend demonstrations in PB.

Gloria said violence won't be tolerated and there will be consequences. Also, because of the recent climb in COVID-19 cases, he urged San Diegans to stay home.

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