COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a proclamation, Thursday, mobilizing the Ohio National Guard ahead of expected protests during the upcoming presidential inauguration.

DeWine, along with Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, announced the mobilization during a briefing to discuss rumored protests centered around the inauguration of Joe Biden. Troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol will also be on hand to increase security.

DeWine and Ginther were joined by Columbus Chief of Police Thomas Quinlan, Ohio National Guard Gen. John C. Harris Jr., and Ohio State Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Richard Fambro.

“I encourage residents to avoid protests this weekend. Hate groups want confrontation to amplify their messages of divisiveness. Let’s not give it to them,” said Ginther during the briefing.

DeWine also approved the activation of about 700 members of the Ohio National Guard to assist federal authorities in the Washington D.C. area during the inauguration.

Also announced during the briefing, was that the Ohio Statehouse would be closed Sunday through Wednesday as a precaution, as well as all state office buildings in downtown Columbus.