Concerned by the risk of potential clashes or unrest during the upcoming right-wing J6Rally rally on Sept. 18, Capitol police is planning to reinstall the protective fencing that surrounded the US Capitol for months after the January 6 insurrection, VOA reports citing source familiar with the issue.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during her press conference Wednesday they intend to have the integrity of the Capitol be intact, hinting at extra safety precautions for the September 18 rally, though she didn’t announce no specific measures .
Yet, the source noted that the temporary fencing Capitol Police requested is expected to be smaller this time and may not obstruct traffic.
The security plan allegedly envisions the fencing to be put up outside the inner perimeter of the Capitol building and the Supreme Court but not around the nearby congressional office buildings.
According to an internal Capitol Police memo issued before, the violent rhetoric and heated discussions surrounding the September 18 event has increased online and there are also counterprotests by White Lives Matter and by at least one leader of Proud Boy being planned for the same day, encouraging their followers to attend.
Some of the online discussions that have raised concerns suggested violence against Jewish centers and liberal churches while police are preoccupied with the rally though Matt Braynard, the leader of Look Ahead America that organizes the rally, argues it will be a completely peaceful protest.
Braynard stressed they don’t want to see any participant at the rally- that anticipates attendance of 500 people- having T-shirts, flags or signs messaging about the upcoming election or about candidates.
The rally “Justice for Ashli Babbitt”, organized to honour the death of protester Ashli Babbitt’s on Jan. 6 after a police officer fatally shot her, also aims to support more than 570 other people charged with crimes related to the Jan. 6 events.
Responding to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who has warned that law enforcement will need to take the rally more seriously than they took the same sort of intelligence on January 5, Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said due to the Department-wide changes they’ve implemented after January 6, he’s confident that police officers have what they need to keep everyone safe.