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Heightened Security Remains In Place At Illinois State Capitol Over Protest Concerns

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS Chicago/CBS News) -- There was noticeable heightened security at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield on Sunday.

In anticipation of protests, Illinois Capitol Police set up checkpoints around the building, and windows were boarded up as a precaution.

Capitol Police were even using drones to monitor the area.

Hundreds of Illinois National Guard troops were also stationed in the area to help police maintain peace and ensure safety.

"We're again here to support law enforcement. They're working closely with the FBI to understand what security issues might be there, and so they asked us today to actually be out there with them today to ensure that there were no challenging issues out here," said Illinois National Guard Maj. Gen. Rich Neeley.

Neeley said the soldiers will remain at the Capitol at least through the inauguration and possible a few days longer.

Small groups of right-wing protesters — some of them carrying rifles — gathered outside some heavily fortified statehouses around the country Sunday as National Guard troops and police kept watch to prevent a repeat of the violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol.

There were no immediate reports of any clashes.

Security was stepped up in recent days after the FBI warned of the potential for armed protests in Washington and at all 50 state capitol buildings ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday.

A few people demonstrated in some capital cities, with crowds of only a dozen or two, while streets in many other places remained empty. Some protesters said they supported President Donald Trump. But others said they weren't backing Mr. Trump and had instead come to voice their support for gun rights or oppose government overreach.

Legislatures generally were not in session over the weekend.

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