WASHINGTON (WFLA) — Eight months after the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, fencing will be put back up around the building ahead of a planned weekend rally.
United States Capitol Police released a statement Monday on “concerning online chatter” about the demonstration planned for Sept. 18. According to the Associated Press, the rally is being organized by Matt Braynard, a former campaign strategist for President Donald Trump who has been focusing attention on what he calls the “prisoners” being unfairly prosecuted for their involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.
While the AP reports the anticipated crowd size and intensity of the planned rally are not yet clear, Capitol Police say they’re prepared.
“We are here to protect everyone’s First Amendment right to peacefully protest,” Chief Tom Manger said. “I urge anyone who is thinking about causing trouble to stay home. We will enforce the law and not tolerate violence.”
The Capitol Police Board approved a plan Monday to temporarily put up a fence around the Capitol. Fencing was first put up after the Jan. 6 riot, but was taken down in July.
“Yes, the fence will go up a day or two before [the rally] and, if everything goes well, it’ll go down – come down very soon after,” Manger said.
The board also issued an emergency declaration last week that’s set to go into effect around the time of the demonstration. Police explain the declaration will allow the department to “deputize outside law enforcement officers as Unites States Capitol Police Special Officers.”
“We want to reassure everyone these are temporary measures to ensure everyone’s safety,” Chief Manger added. “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.”
According to Capitol Police, planning meetings have been held throughout the last month in preparation for the upcoming demonstration.