LANSING, Mich. — Preps are underway in Lansing ahead of this weekend's planned protest, put on by a known militia group.
The Southeast Michigan Militia has roughly 200 members, many of whom have said they will be armed during the event. The group plans to protest a number of issues including Michigan's COVID restrictions and the November 3rd election.
Ahead of the event, the Mayor of Lansing requested the Michigan National Guard's presence. Other agencies involved in the efforts include the Lansing Police Department and Michigan State Police.
The group says it would like to remain peaceful but be loud to have their voices heard.
"That's not in the cards at the moment. We have no intentions of storming the Capitol," said Mike Lackomar, the leader of the Southeast Michigan Militia, when asked if the group plans to storm the building during an interview with WJBK-TV, FOX 17's partner station.
When asked if there could be violence in the future, Lackomar responded, "It depends on how we are pushed... If we are forced to defend ourselves, we will defend ourselves. If our rights are violated, we will resist that violation with whatever level we need to.”
Plans have been discussed to put up metal barriers surrounding the Capitol.
The Michigan National Guard released the following statement:
"The men and women of the Michigan National Guard are always ready and always there to assist our neighbors and emergency response partners when called upon. Long-standing partnerships with local, state and federal emergency officials ensure that all response efforts are well coordinated. We continue to work closely with Governor Whitmer as commander in chief of the Michigan National Guard, Michigan State Police and local law enforcement to determine how we can best plan for and continue to provide support for the state."