SANTA FE, NM (KRQE) – Wednesday marks one week since rioters took over the United States Capitol in Washington, DC and tension remains high across the country. Here in New Mexico, the focus is on tightening security at Roundhouse, ahead of next week’s legislative session.
In less than a week, state legislators will begin the legislative session. The Roundhouse is already preparing for major protests and some lawmakers have even received threats. The grim and intense scene of last week’s Capitol riots shocked the nation. Now, state leaders are concerned about what happened in DC, it could happen here.
“We have seen a call to arms from groups that want to protest and invade state capitals across the country,” said New Mexico Speaker Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe).
President Egolf is concerned about security for the next state legislative session. “There have been new Mexicans on social media and on these far-right websites who have made specific threats against New Mexico targets,” said President Egolf.
Some troubling comments were even captured on a recording of the Pro-Trump rally at the Roundhouse last week. “We’re going to go to the capitals and rip them out of the capitals,” said an unknown person at the pro-Trump rally.
So now officials are tightening security in Santa Fe. This is something you don’t see often outside of Roundhouse. Legislative Services said they began putting up fences on Wednesday as a security measure for upcoming protests. The fence is just a start in addressing security concerns. “It would be a surprise to me if something developed,” said GOP Chairman Steve Pearce.
Pearce said he has not heard of any planned protests in Roundhouse, but said that if people decide to protest, there is no room for violence. “Our freedoms and our constitution for the United States allows us the right to petition our government, to meet in meetings,” Pearce said. “It does not allow us to destroy the property of others; It does not allow us to endanger people’s lives ”.
“Legal and peaceful protests are welcome, but if there are some bad elements who want to try to do things like we saw in Washington, we will be ready to respond and keep everyone safe,” said President Egolf.
President Egolf could not elaborate on what threats were made to state legislators and to whom due to security concerns, but said they are credible and specific. The New Mexico State Police are on alert after the FBI warned of possible violent protests at the state capitol.