Fencing that was put up around the United States Capitol for months following the Jan. 2021 riot will be reinstalled before Pres. Biden’s State of the Union speech as concerns are growing about possible truck convoys or demonstrations causing congested traffic in the U. S. capital.
Chief Tom Manger said that for the speech, the fence around the Capital will be put back up “out of an abundance of caution.”
This action comes as officials in Washington are getting ready for protest planned by trucker convoys because of the pandemic restrictions starting this week. The Pentagon has authorized the deployment of seven-hundred National Guard troops that are unarmed to help with traffic management during possible demonstrations.
Like the trucker protests in Canada recently, individual truck convoys have been planned on online forums. A lot of them have different routes, starting points, and dates of departure. Some of them are scheduled to arrive before the State of the Union speech.
Manger said his police force’s “goal to protect the Capital, the U. S. Congress, and the legislative process remains steady.”
The fence was a symbol of the fear that a lot of people in the Capitol felt after the mob forced its way past law enforcement officers, broke into doors and windows and raided the Capitol when Congress was voting to certify Pres. Biden’s electoral win. It was kept up for several months.
The United States Capitol Police Board agreed on a plan to put the fence back up for a short time for a rally in Sept. that was put together to support people who were still in jail in connection with the insurrection. Police officers and the media hugely outnumbered the protesters so there were only a few incidents reported.
Manger said Capitol Police have also asked for more help from outside police departments prior to the address, and they have also asked for help from the National Guard.
Metro Police Chief Robert Contee said his department is monitoring the changing information closely and would be giving additional police protection in a state of heightened alert during the next several weeks.