Dimond Center in Anchorage to close Sunday in response to planned ‘armed protest’

An Empty parking lot
The Parking Lot of the Dimond Center April 8th, 2020. (Hannah Lies/Alaska Public Media)

The Dimond Center in Anchorage will close down Sunday, Jan. 17, after mall staff learned that an armed rally was being planned at its address. 

An online flyer circulating on far-right social media accounts listed the Dimond Center as the Alaska site of a nationwide “armed march on Capitol Hill and all state capitols.” The rally is called “Refuse to be Silenced.”

The FBI is warning of armed protests planned across the country ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

Dimond Center Manager Bob Dye says he did not give any approval for a demonstration at the Anchorage shopping center. The Dimond Center sent out a news release on Monday to reporters, underscoring that the event will not be allowed on its property. 

“I received word of this armed protest over the weekend from a concerned citizen,” Dye said in a phone interview Monday. “So first, thanks to her.”

After pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, Dye said he determined that the upcoming rally posed a “credible threat.”

He said he didn’t want to make a political statement with the closure of the building and the surrounding parking lots. But, he said, the Dimond Center is a private, family-owned business, and “is not an appropriate venue for an event such as this.” 

“We’re private property, and we will not allow the events to take place on our property as is our right,” he said. 

He said he’s been in contact with the FBI and Anchorage Police Department. Those law enforcement agencies could not be immediately reached for comment on Monday, and have not confirmed their involvement with an investigation. 

The flyer doesn’t list an organizer for the rally, which coincides with the last Sunday of Donald Trump’s presidency. 

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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Lex Treinen covers culture, homelessness, politics and corrections for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at ltreinen@alaskapublic.org.