Quantcast

DC Mayor Calls in National Guard Ahead of Pro-Trump Protests

'We will not allow people to incite violence, intimidate our residents or cause destruction in our city....'

(Headline USA) Bracing for possible violence, the nation’s capital has mobilized the National Guard ahead of planned protests by President Donald Trump‘s supporters — who are often antagonized by Antifa and Black Lives Matter radicals — in connection with the congressional vote expected Wednesday to affirm an election victory for Joe Biden.

Trump’s supporters plan to rally Tuesday and Wednesday, seeking to bolster the president’s claims of widespread voter fraud.

“There are people intent on coming to our city armed,” D.C. Acting Police Chief Robert Contee said Monday, ignoring the violent tendencies of leftist radicals and instead assigning them to peaceful Trump supporters.

On Monday, Metropolitan Police Department officers arrested the leader of the Proud Boys, Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, 36, after he arrived in Washington ahead of this week’s protests. Tarrio was accused of burning a Black Lives Matter banner that was torn down from a historic black church in downtown Washington during the December protests.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

A warrant had been issued for Tarrio’s arrest for destruction of property, police said. He was also facing a weapons charges after officers found him with two high-capacity firearm magazines when he was arrested, a police spokesman said.

Trump has repeatedly encouraged this week’s protests and hinted that he may get personally involved. Over the weekend, he retweeted a promotion for the rally with the message, “I will be there. Historic Day!”

At a November rally, Trump staged a limousine drive-by past cheering crowds in Freedom Plaza, on the city’s iconic Pennsylvania Avenue. And at the December rally, which drew smaller numbers but a larger contingent of Proud Boys, Trump’s helicopter flew low over cheering crowds on the National Mall.

The protests coincide with Wednesday’s congressional vote expected to certify the Electoral College results, which Trump continues to dispute.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

Now with downtown D.C. businesses boarding up their windows, Mayor Muriel Bowser has requested a limited National Guard deployment to help bolster the Metropolitan Police Department. During a press conference on Monday, Bowser asked that local area residents stay away from downtown D.C., and avoid confrontations with anyone who is “looking for a fight.” But, she warned, “we will not allow people to incite violence, intimidate our residents or cause destruction in our city.”

According to a U.S. defense official, Bowser put in a request on New Year’s Eve to have Guard members on the streets from Tuesday to Thursday to help with the protests. The official said the additional forces will be used for traffic control and other assistance but they will not be armed or wearing body armor. Congress is meeting this week to certify the Electoral College results, and Trump has refused to concede while whipping up support for protests.

Some 340 D.C. National Guard members will be activated, with about 115 on duty in the streets at any given time, said the defense official, who provided details on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The official said Guard members will be used to set up traffic control points around the city and to stand with district police officers at all the city’s Metro stops. Contee said Guard troops will also be used for some crowd management.

“Some of our intelligence certainly suggests there will be increased crowd sizes,” said Contee.

D.C. police have posted signs throughout downtown warning that carrying any sort of firearm is illegal and Contee asked area residents to warn authorities of anyone who might be armed.

Because D.C. does not have a governor, the designated commander of the city’s National Guard is Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy. Any D.C. requests for Guard deployments have to be approved by him.

The defense official said that there will be no active duty military troops in the city, and the U.S. military will not be providing any aircraft or intelligence. The D.C. Guard will provide specialized teams that will be prepared to respond to any chemical or biological incident. But the official said there will be no D.C. Guard members on the National Mall or at the U.S. Capitol.

At previous pro-Trump protests, police have sealed off Black Lives Matter Plaza itself, but the confrontations merely spilled out to the surrounding streets. Contee on Monday said sealing the area again was “a very real possibility” but said that decision would depend on the circumstances.

“We know that historically over the last few demonstrations that BLM plaza has been a focal point,” Contee said. “We want to make sure that that is not an issue.”

The National Park Service has received three separate applications for pro-Trump protests on Tuesday or Wednesday, with estimated maximum attendance at around 15,000 people, said Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst. On Monday, a stage was being assembled for one of the protests on The Ellipse, just south of the White House.

Organizers plan to rally on Tuesday evening at Freedom Plaza and again all day Wednesday on the Ellipse, including a 1 p.m. Wednesday march to the Capitol. Expected attendees include high-level Trump supporters like Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Republican strategist Roger Stone, a longtime Trump devotee whose three-year prison sentence was commuted by Trump.

During the Dec. 12 pro-Trump protests, at least two local black churches had Black Lives Matter banners torn down and set ablaze. Contee said the hate-crimes investigation into those incidents was still ongoing and that his officers would be out in force around area churches to prevent similar incidents.

“We will be increasing out visibility around the churches in the area,” he said.

Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.

- Advertisement -

TRENDING NOW

CDC: Afghanis Potentially Spreading Infectious Diseases

(Bethany Blankley, The Center Square) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that medical professionals and clinicians be on alert for...

New Non-Laptop Emails Show More Hunter Biden Ties to China

President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, attempted to acquire an annual $2-million retainer to aid in the recovery of Libyan assets frozen by President...

88-Year-Old Chuck Grassley Will Seek Re-Election to Senate Seat

(Associated Press) Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the longest-serving Republican senator, said Friday that he will seek an eighth term in 2022, giving the party more...

Former Colleague Accuses CNN’s Chris Cuomo of Sex Harassment

CNN’s Chris Cuomo has been accused of sexual harassment by a former female manager at ABC News. In an op-ed for the New York Times,...

Pa. AG Sues State Republicans to Stop Election Audit Subpoenas

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed a lawsuit against the state GOP this week to block Republican legislators from subpoenaing election officials for its...

Banks Band Together to Oppose Biden’s IRS Plan to Snoop on Private Accounts

President Joe Biden and his administration face heavy criticism as they push a plan to give the Internal Revenue Service permission to delve into...

Biden Admin Disobeys Judge’s Order; Drags Feet on Oil, Gas Leases

(Bob Pepalis, The Center Square) The Biden administration is delaying lease sales of federal lands for oil and gas exploration even after a court order,...

U.S. Government Plans to Default on Debt the Dishonest Way

(Mike Gleason, Money Metals News Service) Debt troubles in China and Washington, D.C. helped boost safe-haven demand for precious metals early this week. By Thursday, however,...

Walensky Overrides CDC Advisory Panel; Widens Access to COVID Vax Booster

(Associated Press) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday endorsed booster shots for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans, opening a major...
- Advertisement -