On Thursday, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham made an executive order for the state, declaring an emergency due to the threat of riots and insurrection.
The order cites the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and “credible intelligence” that similar riots could happen at capitol buildings or other government buildings across the country to coincide with the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20, 2021.
The declaration came as fencing was installed in a wide radius around the state capitol building in Santa Fe and an adjacent annex. The state legislature is set to start up on Tuesday, the day before President-elect Biden’s inauguration. Leading legislators say they are taking the prospect of violence seriously amid an FBI warning and other undisclosed information.
The declaration authorizes the deployment of the state’s National Guard and makes financial resources available to state and local agencies that respond to possible emergencies. State police who oversee the site are coordinating security with local law enforcement agencies to provide a response should any gatherings become violent.
State Police Lt. Mark Soriano said security plans anticipate potential large-scale demonstrations in the coming days. “Given the current climate in our country, we will not rule out such events taking place during the upcoming legislative session, or on Inauguration Day, or in the days and weeks surrounding either event, for that matter,” Lt. Soriano said.
State officials have declined to describe in greater detail intelligence about security at the Roundhouse and when they believe protests might take place.
In the order, the governor says, in part:
I, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Governor of the State of New Mexico, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Laws of the State of New Mexico, do hereby declare a State of Emergency to exist in the State of New Mexico due to the ongoing and pervasive threat of riots and insurrection beginning on January 16th through the day the Governor’s Authorized Representative determines to be the end of the emergency period.