Washington, DC, police are calling for razor-wire-topped fencing around the US Capitol to be kept in place until at least September because they continue to hear of threats against lawmakers in the aftermath of the January 6 riot.
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 as a physical barrier 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?”
Right on schedule, police officials anonymously say the ridiculous barbed wire fence surrounding the Capitol must stay in place till at least September due to unspecified “threats against lawmakers”Are you familiar with the concept of “mission creep”https://t.co/41jk527vVa
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) February 18, 2021
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.
When you create a boogeyman, never ever pretend it no longer exists.
— Pebbles The Hamster (@dontflushmebro) February 18, 2021
I’ll bet you $100 that more dastardly “threats” will be uncovered before September. The narrative will never end.
— Heywood Floyd (@HeywoodFloyd10) February 18, 2021
But some Democrats, such as Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, have spoken out against long-term fencing around the Capitol. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a non-voting member of Congress who represents the District of Columbia, introduced a bill this week seeking to prohibit Capitol fencing from being made permanent. She said the Capitol needs to be secured without walling it off “like a fortress that needs to be protected from the people we represent.”
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