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Prayer march takes place at South Dakota State Capitol

The South Dakota State Capitol saw not so much as one armed protestor on Sunday.
The South Dakota National Guard were part of an increased security presence at the South Dakota...
The South Dakota National Guard were part of an increased security presence at the South Dakota State Capitol in anticipation of any sort of armed protests. The only group that showed up was a peaceful, right wing prayer group.(Patrick Callahan | Patrick Callahan/SDBA)
Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 8:03 AM MST
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PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN) - The FBI warned of potential tension at State Capitol’s across the nation on January 17th, leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s Inauguration on January 20th.

While there were a number of tense interactions at other state capitols, the only organization to show up at the South Dakota State Capitol thus far was a peaceful, right wing prayer group.

The group, who called themselves the “Jericho March,” showed up to the South Dakota State Capitol Sunday about twenty strong. They spent roughly an hour marching around the capitol building, while simultaneously chanting prayers. While the group said that they were there to “pray for the nation and its politicians,” they also talked about combatting “election fraud” and abortion.

One of the organizers, who did not wish to give his name or appear on camera, said they had zero affiliation with the national Jericho March or any other violent protests. He only identified himself as “an American with a Rosary.”

“We are unaffiliated with the Jericho March organization that has been in the media,” said the organizer. “We know that there have been people praying, as you just witnessed we did it (organized it) all on our own.”

“We are citizens of the United States, and of Jesus Christ’s holy church.”

The organizer also clarified that the group was not nationalist, but instead they were “universalists,” a branch of Christianity.

Another participant said he heard about the event from a fellow church goer. He was affiliated with another Christian organization, “Life Runners.” He also did not wish to give his name.

“I heard about this event from a fellow who goes to church here in Pierre,” said the participant. “He informed us about it... And the witness value for anyone who sees us out here and thinks that they have a misconception about what we are doing here.”

Security presence was heavy at the state capitol in anticipation for more violent protestors. Several South Dakota National Guard soldiers, along with an increased number of state troopers, were at the State Capitol beginning Saturday.

The Department of Public Safety has denied several request for comment regarding increased security at the state capitol.

“As far as the security goes, there was an FBI report that there would protests throughout all the (state) capitols,” said the same participant. “That doesn’t necessarily have to do with us. We just happened to be here, and the National Guard is here and everything too, which I think is kind of cool.”

It remains to be seen what kind of security and protestor presence is at the state capitol both on and through Inauguration Day.