US Capitol Police Prepare for September 18 ‘Justice for J6’ Rally
22:16 GMT 13.09.2021 (Updated: 22:43 GMT 13.09.2021)
© AFP 2023 / SAMUEL CORUM The U.S. Capitol is seen behind a fence with razor wire during sunrise on January 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week's riots at the U.S. Capitol Building, the FBI has warned of additional threats in the nation's capital and in all 50 states. According to reports, as many as 25,000 National Guard soldiers will be guarding the city as preparations are made for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. President.
© AFP 2023 / SAMUEL CORUM
The US Capitol Police have made preparations for the September 18 ‘Justice for J6’ demonstration to bolster their security capabilities.
In the aftermath of the January 6 Capitol insurrection, the US Capitol Police have gone to great lengths to strengthen security. USCP has “improved training, created a Critical Incident Response Plan, acquired additional equipment and technology, and launched a now Department-wide operation planning process.”
The new security will be put to the test on September 18, when a ‘Justice for J6’ rally is set to commence. USCP is re-introducing fencing around the Capitol building and issued an emergency declaration, set to go into effect around the time of the rally, to “deputize outside law enforcement officers as United States Capitol Police Special Officers.”
8 September 2021, 00:46 GMT
The department says it will continue to protect individuals’ First Amendment right to demonstrate, with USCP Chief Tom Manager adding, “I urge anyone who is thinking about causing trouble to stay home. We will enforce the law and not tolerate violence.” The heightened security has been spurred by “concerning online chatter” coming from those that support the Justice for J6 rally.
The rally, organized by Look Ahead America, is a demonstration against the treatment of those arrested during the January 6 Capitol insurrection. The organization’s executive director, Matt Braynard, said the event was organized “on behalf of the political prisoners who have been persecuted as a result of their participation in the January 6 rallies,” during an appearance on the “Bannon’s War Room” podcast.
He goes on to say that many of the people arrested have been in solitary confinement for the past nine months and stresses that the demonstration will be peaceful.
“If we identify anybody in our crowd that we think might be causing a problem, that’s not going along with the program, we are going to raise their profile to the Capitol Police,” he added.
Look Ahead America has stressed that the protest and demonstrations will be peaceful, but far-right groups have been flagged by the department over their online activity. Two far-right groups are expected to have their followers in attendance. The Proud Boys have encouraged their members to attend the rally, and White Lives Matter is promoting a nationwide protest on the same day.