Gov. DeSantis activates National Guard ahead of possible protests at Florida Capitol

Florida National Guard
The activation will take effect immediately.

Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the Florida National Guard on Friday, marking the state’s latest countermeasure against the looming armed protests expected at the Florida Capitol as early as this weekend.

The executive order allows the National Guard to assist state and local law enforcement while they conduct “security missions and assignments necessary to maintain peace.”

The activation, which will take effect immediately, is dated through Jan. 24 or until the security missions are complete.

The activation comes after federal authorities arrested an Army veteran who planned to confine protesters at the Florida Capitol Complex using firearms. He encouraged others via social media to join his insurrection.

Shortly after the arrest, Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey pleaded with DeSantis to activate the Florida National Guard at a press conference.

“Governor DeSantis, on behalf of residents and law enforcement in the Capital City, I am asking you to do what only you have the power to do,” Dailey said. “Call up and deploy Florida’s National Guard troops now.”

Federal, state and local authorities have spent the week on high alert after the FBI issued a memo warning that armed protests are planned at all 50 state capitols and Washington D.C.

Social media posts suggest the arrested Army veteran and Tallahassee resident, Daniel Baker, planned to violently confront protesters between now and Inauguration Day, Jan. 20. Baker’s Youtube account espouses violence against supporters of President Donald Trump.

It is unclear what direct threats the Florida Capitol Complex may face.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, however, issued a statement shortly after Dailey’s press conference.

We are aware of the information regarding possible protests and violence at state capitols,” the state police agency tweeted. “FDLE and Capitol Police continue to monitor the national situation in collaboration with our federal, state and local partners to implement security measures that enhance public safety at the Capitol.”

Authorities are encouraging residents to report suspicious activity by calling 1-800-FLA-SAFE.

Click to access EO-21-11.pdf

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at [email protected] or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.


2 comments

  • PeterH

    January 16, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    Trump is leaving office with the lowest job approval ratings of any president in the history of the USA.

    Trumpsters need to calm down and learn to accept reality. They need to find a 2024 candidate who has a human heart, who is caring and committed to learning about the job’s core responsibilities before arriving in Washington. It’s highly doubtful that Americans will ever pick someone with a prior history of fraud, financial corruption or a social media presence filled with conspiracy theorist. So…. Republicans might want to do some vetting before floating another incompetent blowhard!

  • Sonja Fitch

    January 17, 2021 at 6:55 am

    There is no Republican Party! Wait maybe! Simpson, Patronis and occasionally Spowrlys(!) seem to be trying to bring Florida back from the brink of the goptrump death cult sociopaths! BUT if you talk on FOX you have a ways to go to be recognized and believed by Florida citizens! Vote Florida Democrat Blue in 2022!

Comments are closed.


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