A Change.Org petition has been set up to, according to the petition page,

"Demand that local Tri-Cities officials act to stop illegal armed militias" 

in the Tri-City area.

The petition specifically targets Defend The Tri, which began on June 1st. The group was set up after a series of riots destroyed businesses in Seattle and Bellevue. The mission statement of Defend reads as follows:

"The purpose of this group is to raise awareness of local businesses that might need help protecting themselves and their business. Invite those willing to help."

Dozens of area businesses have requested their presence, to act as a deterrent to potential vandalism and other illegal activity, in light of what's happened in other communities due to rioting. The presence is requested as a deterrence during  after hours. The group has publicly reiterated numerous times they act only as eyes/and or ears if a business specifically requests their presence to 'look over' their establishment.

DTT followed similar groups in other cities such as Snohomish and Coeur D' Alene, ID who engaged in similar activities as a deterrent to agitator groups who either did show up or threatened to.

The petition claims:

"Members of DTT have publicly indicated that they intend to attend these upcoming protests, that they intend to be armed when they do, and that their motivation is to “protect” those protesters."

The petition goes on to say that:

"Should the police and sheriff departments of your various cities and counties allow these armed gangs to attend peaceful free speech demonstrations, we will be suing the cities and counties involved for violating our civil rights.

Your city and county governments and law enforcement are on notice. We will be bringing legal action against you if you allow further intimidation to occur by groups of armed vigilantes."

DTT leaders have publicly said they have no intention of stopping or going against peaceful protests or other such marches, and there are no plans to attend in official capacity.

Based also upon pictures and other visible evidence released by Defend The Tri and others, the photos show them in parking lots or other areas around businesses, mostly during night time or after hours.

The petition is signed by Afrose Ahmed (who is credited with creating it according to Change.org) also John Roach and Adam Brault Avenir.

To see the Change.org petition for yourself, click on the button below.

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