For Immediate Release: Media Contact: Valerie Marchand
Monday, January 12, 2021 517-230-4904
Statement from Lansing Mayor Schor Regarding Michigan National Guard Request
“Today, in agreement with Lansing City Council President Peter Spadafore, I made an official request to Governor Gretchen Whitmer to activate and have ready the Michigan National Guard in the event of violence stemming from scheduled protests at the Michigan State Capitol. The request was for the National Guard to assist Lansing Police if a violent disturbance in the downtown area surrounding the Capitol building occurs.
Lansing is the Capital City, and I am a firm believer in the First Amendment right to protest at our state Capitol but let me be clear: this does not mean that anyone has a right to incite violence or destruction in Lansing’s downtown. I remain hopeful that any protests at the Capitol and in Lansing’s downtown this weekend and through Inauguration Day remain peaceful. However, given recent events in Washington D.C., we must prepare for the worst. The Lansing Police Department is working with the Michigan State Police and other police agencies to ensure the safety and security of our downtown and calling up the National Guard to protect Lansing’s downtown ensures that their resources are also available to respond effectively to any violent agitation downtown.
For 213 years, the United States has had peaceful transfers of power. What happened at the U.S. Capitol last week was an attack on our democracy. We will see a transfer of power and inauguration of President Joe Biden. Unfortunately, Lansing and all state capitals must be ready to protect against those that would use violence to protest this transfer of power,” said Mayor Andy Schor.
Dear Governor Whitmer:
With the coming transfer of power, we have bared witness to events not seen in recent history. Last week’s horrific scene on Capitol Hill was an attack on our democracy and shows that we need to be adequately prepared for acts of violence as President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as our 46th President of the United States.
We continue to track the “Storm the Capitol” protests in all state capitals scheduled for the coming days. In light of the violence at our nation’s Capitol, I respectfully request that you activate the Michigan National Guard, specifically on January 17th and 20th, to provide additional security and crowd control measures and to ensure that our historic Capitol building as well as the businesses and offices that surround it are safe.
While we certainly want to make sure that visitors are able to exercise their First Amendment rights, we must also prevent any violence and guarantee the personal safety and property of those that work and live in downtown Lansing. Thank you for your consideration of this request and for your leadership.
Andy Schor, Mayor