Washington, DC police are recommending that the razor-wire-topped Capitol fence should be kept in place until at least September.
Their reason, they say, is because they continue to hear of possible threats against lawmakers in the aftermath of the January 6 riot.
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It was also reported last week that the National Guard, who were expected to leave by the middle of March, could now be staying in DC until the Fall
RT reports: US Capitol Police have notified congressional leaders of their fencing recommendation, the Associated Press reported on Thursday, citing anonymous officials with the department. The threats include “online chatter” about extremist groups possibly coming to Washington in the weeks ahead. Police said the physical barrier is needed to prevent a repeat of the Capitol riot.
There has been no clear indication of the basis for suggesting that massive crowds of protesters intend to return to Washington and threaten physical harm to politicians or anyone else. The fence was erected the day after the riot, and more than 25,000 National Guard troops were summoned to Washington from across the US to help seal off the city’s government district for President Joe Biden’s January 20 inauguration.
Although the violent protests that were predicted for Inauguration Day didn’t occur, the National Guard has kept about 7,000 troops in Washington and plans to still have 5,600 in mid-March to continue bolstering security. Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman called last month for installing permanent fencing and implementing other security measures, raising concerns over the aesthetic and symbolic appearance of indefinitely walling off a government from its people.
“Right on schedule, police officials anonymously say the ridiculous barbed-wire fence surrounding the Capitol must stay in place till at least September…” journalist Michael Tracey said. “Are you familiar with the concept of mission creep?”
Many observers noted the irony that Democrats in Congress now endorse a barrier for their protection, after arguing for years that a wall on America’s southern border was a waste of money that diverts attention from ‘genuine threats’ to US homeland security. Others predicted that the threat will continue to be resuscitated, likely meaning the fence will stay up well beyond September.
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