US Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger warned that some threats had been made regarding the upcoming “Justice for J6” rally in Washington, DC. Law enforcement have upped security as they fear a repetition of the incidents that occurred at the beginning of the year.
A tall fence, which was installed around Capitol grounds in the aftermath of the storming of the building, has reappeared in the US capital.
The measures were introduced after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned about the potential for violence during the upcoming demonstration, which is scheduled for 18 September.
“We are aware of a small number of recent online threats of violence referencing the planned rally, including online discussions encouraging violence the day before the rally,” reads a DHS intelligence briefing obtained by CNN.
The briefing said that around 700 people are expected to attend the event and noted that violence could break out due to a counter-rally that is scheduled to take place on the same day at Freedom Plaza in Washington.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin approved a request from the US Capitol Police to deploy 100 troops to assist with the planned protest at the Capitol on Saturday, Defense Department Spokesperson Christian Mitchell stated on Thursday.
Eleanor Holmes Norton, a delegate to the United States House of Representatives, stated that the security measures that have been introduced in Washington, DC are an overcompensation for the 6 January incident.
“It looks like the authorities, especially the Capitol Police, have been taken aback by how unprepared they were on Jan. 6. So now they’re coming back overprepared,” she added.
Matt Braynard, whose organisation is planning the “Justice for J6”, rally announced that the demonstration will be peaceful and that participants will cooperate with law enforcement.
On that day, members of Congress were convening to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, which Donald Trump lost to Democrat Joe Biden. However, the incumbent Republican president refused to concede defeat. He claimed that the vote had been rigged and that Biden won thanks to widespread voter irregularities, a claim that many of his allies and supporters strongly backed. While lawmakers were gathered in the Capitol, Trump held a rally that was attended by thousands of his supporters.
Addressing the crowd, the former president and other speakers at the rally reiterated claims about the election being stolen. Trump also called on his supporters to “march” on Congress.
“You are the people that built this nation. You have to get your people to fight,” the president told his supporters.
During the rally, hundreds of supporters headed to the Capitol, with a large group of people storming into the building. Five protesters and a policeman were killed and more than a hundred law enforcement officers were injured as Trump supporters breached the building.
Federal authorities responded by arresting almost 600 people. A number of people that incited violence, according to federal indictments, were not charged with anything – prompting widespread speculation they may have been FBI informants or undercover agents.
Following the incident, Democrats accused Trump of inciting an “insurrection” and introduced an impeachment article against him. The Republican POTUS became the first US president to be impeached twice. The four-day trial ended in lawmakers acquitting Trump. The president noted he bore no responsibility for the deadly riots and dismissed the Democrats’ decision to introduce an impeachment article against him as “ridiculous”.
Source: RIA Novosti