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Tightened Security Amid Huge Super Bowl Protest Plans

Houston law enforcement is ramping up security for the Feb. 5 Super Bowl after several groups of protesters announced plans for a large-scale demonstrations near the event, protesting President Donald Trump's immigration and travel restrictions.

On Jan. 31, protest leaders from groups ranging from Black Lives Matter to the local Democratic Party, from Muslims to Jews to circumcision opponents met to discuss the rally plans, reports USA Today. The #ResistHouston demonstration plans are so secretive that leader Blake Stroud did not share all of the details with everyone at the meeting.

What the groups did agree upon was that they aim to march in a giant, loud and peaceful group to unite against the president's refugee restrictions and travel ban. Between Feb. 3 and 5, at least five marches are scheduled to take place, and thousands of people are expected to show up.

"We are seeing the petty differences between our groups matter less than what we agree on," said Amy Zachmeyer, lead organizer for the Houston chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, according to USA Today.

Despite the plans for a nonviolent, law-abiding event, officials are taking all possible precautions for the weekend, which is likely to see a million people fly into the city to watch the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots face off.

"We are prepared for the game," the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Chip Fulgham said, according to NBC News. "There are no known credible threats, but obviously this is a high-profile event."

It is so high-profile, in fact, that all of the 5,000 officers from the Houston Police Department will patrol the area with regional and federal officers, while the FBI is working with local officials to collect information and monitor the proceedings. The FBI has also deployed SWAT teams on the ground.

"There is a large uniform presence, and there's also a large plainclothes presence," said FBI Special Agent Shauna Dunlap. "Maybe you might not recognize us, but we'll be there."

Sources: USA Today, NBC News / Photo credit: Super Bowl 50/Instagram

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