New York Daily News
WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN
Cops in D.C. move to prevent repeat of disgraceful riots
Heavy fencing is erected Thursday around the U.S. Capitol as law enforcement girds for right-wing rally Saturday by those calling for charges against Jan. 6 rioters (below) to be tossed.
Even in post-presidency exile, Donald Trump is still raising unsightly walls.
A tall black chain-link security fence was erected outside the U.S. Capitol complex on Thursday, as workers get ready for a storm of Trump fans who plan to descend on Washington nine months after the Jan. 6 assault on American democracy.
Fencing went up outside the Capitol after that deadly riot, but it was removed over the summer. Now, it’s back again, as the right-wingers prepare to roll into the nation’s capital on Saturday.
On Jan. 6, rioters broke into the halls of Congress, inspired by a falsehood-spewing Trump, who urged supporters to “take back our country” as he baselessly claimed he had beaten President Biden.
Authorities have taken steps to prevent a repeat, with the Capitol Police asking the Defense Department to make the National Guard available for deployment on Saturday. Amid the planning for the socalled “Justice for J6” rally, multiple congressional offices were to close on Friday, according to Axios.
“We will enforce the law and not tolerate violence,” Chief Tom Manger of the Capitol Police said in a statement on Monday. “We are extremely grateful for the support we continue to receive from the local community and our congressional stakeholders as we carry out our critical mission.”
The city’s police department is also ready to assist. Chris Geldart, Washington’s deputy mayor for public safety, told WRC-TV that “MPD is all hands on deck,” using the acronym for the Metropolitan Police Department.
Hundreds of Trump supporters are expected at the rally to protest criminal charges filed against about 600 people suspected of breaking laws in January.
Organizers claim that Jan. 6 protesters were wrongly arrested and that some are being mistreated behind bars while awaiting trial. They demand that the protesters — who face a variety of charges ranging from trespassing to conspiracy and assaulting cops — be freed immediately and have their charges scrubbed.
Security officials are anxious to avoid any repeat of Jan. 6, when hordes of protesters — some armed — overwhelmed cops in the effort to block Congress from certifying Biden’s victory.
Experts in extremism say there appears to be less chatter among far right-wing groups related to the Saturday rally.
But the Department of Homeland Security said in a bulletin to law enforcement officials that it believes some protesters “may seek to engage in violence,” according to CBS News.
CBS reported the bulletin described discussions on social media around “using the rally to target local Jewish institutions, elected officials and ‘liberal churches.’ ”
No top Republican elected officials appeared to be slated to attend the rally, which is being organized by a former Trump campaign official. Several lawmakers spoke at the Jan. 6 rally.
Trump signaled support for Saturday’s protest.
In a statement, he said: “Our hearts and minds are with the people being persecuted so unfairly relating to the January 6th protest concerning the Rigged Presidential Election.”
Trump lost the November election by 74 votes in the Electoral College. He came up short in the popular vote by more than 7 million ballots. There was no evidence of widespread voter rigging.
But four people died during the Jan. 6 riot, and four cops who responded to the siege later killed themselves, memories sure to weigh heavily on officials as they brace for the weekend.
“They seemed very, very well prepared. Much better prepared than before Jan. 6,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said of the police on Monday. “I think they’re ready for whatever might happen.”