Police expect Capitol fencing reinstalled for Sept. 18 rally
Police are expected to reinstall fencing around the Capitol building ahead of a Sept. 18 rally amid fears of renewed violence, according to a source familiar with the request.
The Associated Press reported earlier this month that far-right extremist groups such as the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys are slated to attend the rally next week, where demonstrators intend to call for “justice” for those who face charges for storming the Capitol and interrupting Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential win.
The Capitol building and Supreme Court’s immediate streets are expected to be fenced off ahead of the rally, the AP first reported on Wednesday. Nearby congressional buildings, however, are not expected to get fencing along their perimeters. The AP noted that plans still have to be finalized, however.
Capitol Police declined to comment on the plans. “Unfortunately, we cannot discuss specifics about potential security plans,” a spokesperson said in an email.
Lawmakers are expected to receive briefings about the security measures soon, the AP noted.
Following the Jan. 6 insurrection, police installed protective fencing around the building for months — an ominous symbol that towered over residents and lawmakers alike. At least 40 Republican lawmakers in February had sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asking for the fencing to be removed.
However, it was not until July when the last of the remaining fencing was taken down.
Law enforcement agencies have noted that they are on high alert ahead of the September rally.
“We are closely monitoring September 18 and we are planning accordingly. After January 6, we made Department-wide changes to the way we gather and share intelligence internally and externally. I am confident the work we are doing now will make sure our officers have what they need to keep everyone safe,” Chief Tom Manger told The Hill in a statement last week.
Cristina Marcos contributed reporting