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Mayor of Vermont capital urges protesters to stay home

January 15, 2021 GMT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The mayor of Montpelier is urging protesters and counter-protesters to stay home this Sunday rather than gather at the Vermont Statehouse.

But Mayor Anne Watson is asking that anyone who does show up in Montpelier to leave their firearms at home.

“I know there have been calls for an armed insurrection, but we’re anticipating that if anyone does want to show up, we hope that they will be peaceful,” Watson said in an interview with Vermont Public Radio. “And having a peaceful protest means that there’s no need for firearms.”

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She also urged protesters and counter protesters to “refrain from in-person direct counter-protesting, because that could lead to the risk of violence.”

Vermont law enforcement officials say they are aware of nationwide calls by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump for armed marches on all 50 state capitals this Sunday. But they say they are unaware of any specific plans by pro-Trump demonstrators to gather in Montpelier.

But others are planning to visit the Statehouse Sunday as counter-protesters.