DENVER (KDVR) — Downtown Denver and Capitol Hill businesses are bracing for what the FBI has called armed protests set for this weekend.
Shortly after Twitter permanently banned President Donald Trump from its platform, news of online chatter from far-right groups surfaced. That chatter is calling for armed demonstrations outside the U.S. Capitol and all 50 state capitols.
Temporary fencing still surrounds the Colorado Capitol Building ahead of the 2021 legislative session that starts Wednesday.
Federal agents in Colorado are reportedly identifying and disrupting those who have a goal of causing violence in the downtown area in the coming days. After a summer of unrest— and a sluggish economy— business owners in the area are feeling exhausted and hoping for some relief.
“I’ve never seen such hatred and fighting among Americans,” Duman’s Custom Tailor owner Steve Duman said. “It breaks my heart.”
Duman represents the second generation at his shop that’s been around for nearly six decades. While navigating a steep decline in business from viral-plagued economy— 2020 violence and vandalism also took a toll in his neighbors along Colfax Avenue.
“Our block has been known to be one of the main staging points,” he said.
Many business owners along Colfax— and into the downtown core— haven’t even bothered removing boards that have covered windows for months.
“I hope that we can get through this without one person getting hurt or one rock being thrown,” Duman said.
Since the FBI is currently conducting investigations, details are not being provided on just how many people the agency might be tracking ahead of the potential demonstrations.
As more protests are planned across the country, the FBI urges residents to stay vigilant. If you are at a gathering and notice something suspicious, or if you see something online, report it immediately. Call 303-629-7171 or visit the FBI’s website.