Officials in Starr County, Texas, are bracing for a potentially major event: militia forces guarding the U.S. border.
Officials received word that militia members are planning to block bridges into Mexico in Rio Grande City, Roma and Falcon Dam on Saturday, Sept. 20, KRGV-TV reported, as a way to protest illegal border crossings.
"If they're here to block traffic, to be a hindrance between traffic and the port of entry, that causes a problem," said Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal. "It's a huge safety issue."
He expressed concern for the "hundreds of millions of dollars" in commerce that he said flows over the bridges, and he said he was worried about the militia's guns.
"I know that the state of Texas provides for them to be able to display their firearms," Villareal told KRGV. "I'm not going to lie to you; it's going to make us nervous. We're not used to seeing firearms being openly displayed."
More details on the militia were not immediately available, and Villareal said, "We've never dealt with militia here in Starr County."
He added a plug for government forces — the same government forces whose ineffectiveness the militia members are presumably protesting.
"I'm a 100 percent sure that with the National Guard, with DPS, with Border Patrol and local law enforcement, we'll communicate and we'll handle whatever comes," said Villareal.
UPDATE: The @shutdownallport Twitter account, claiming to represent the group behind the border closure, has emphasized that the planned bridge blocking is intended to be a peaceful affair.
"No weapons (unless authorized to legally carry) are allowed," read a statement relayed by the account. "This is a peaceful protest to air our grievances to our government, as allowed by the Constitution."
The statement also questioned the use of the term "militia" to refer to the group.
"Stating that 'we' are militia is a distraction and intended to stop this event," the statement said.
A "travel advisory" ends the statement:
"Please be aware that traveling across the US/Mexico border will be impeded, beginning on September 20, 2014, with no designated end date."
(H/T: Conservative Tribune)
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