Social media users mocked the decision to increase security ahead of a scheduled pro-Trump rally later this week by reinstalling fencing that ringed the Capitol Building for months following the Jan. 6 riot.
The Hill reported Monday that Capitol Police and other law enforcement officials made the decision to put fencing back up ostensibly based on threat “intelligence” that they refused to specify.
“Capitol Police have installed temporary high-tech security cameras to allow them a vaster view of the Capitol complex. A Capitol security board on Monday approved a plan to reinstall a seven-foot fence around the main Capitol building, which had stood for months after January’s deadly assault,” the outlet reported.
The reinstalled fencing comes as a result of an emergency declaration by the board, which gives Capitol Police authority to deputize outside law enforcement personnel to become “special” officers with the department for Saturday’s rally.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other congressional leaders have requested they be briefed on security issues and matters ahead of the rally “to ensure officials have a game plan if violence erupts this weekend,” The Hill added.
“We are here to protect everyone’s First Amendment right to peacefully protest,” Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger noted in a statement after briefing reporters Monday. “I urge anyone who is thinking about causing trouble to stay home. We will enforce the law and not tolerate violence.”
U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger on security measures for September 18th ‘Justice for J6’ rally: “The fence will go up a day or two before and if everything goes well, it will come down very soon after.” pic.twitter.com/olVblOPyEt
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 13, 2021
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) left the security briefing confident that Capitol Police are much better prepared for Saturday’s rally than they were ahead of the Jan. 6 breach.
“They seemed very, very well-prepared — much better prepared than before Jan. 6. I think they’re ready for whatever might happen,” Schumer said, according to The Hill.
“It seems much better,” added Pelosi. However, she continued, “I don’t have anything to compare to, because we weren’t briefed before.”
But it is the reinstallation of fencing and the increase in security ahead of a rally supportive of former President Donald Trump that drew the mocking and ire of social media users.
“When the CCP steals your election and installs a puppet, this is one of the things they do to protect the illegitimate regime,” the Virginia Project, which works to elect Republicans in the state, tweeted, using the acronym for the Chinese Communist Party.
When the CCP steals your election and installs a puppet, this is one of the things they do to protect the illegitimate regime.
— The Virginia Project (@ProjectVirginia) September 13, 2021
Wow, that’s super surprising. Who would have thought? Definitely not a police state
— Daniel Wachtel (@DanWachtel) September 13, 2021
I thought walls didn’t work??
— Becky (@bearyfunscrap) September 13, 2021
Gotta keep the deplorables away!
— SaintsOfLA (@AllisterFiend21) September 13, 2021
— keeweenaz (@keely2123) September 13, 2021
The peasantry might get uppity again…?
— I’m To Blame (@im2blame4) September 13, 2021
Meanwhile, a funded police presence enjoys civil moments with a leader. pic.twitter.com/1ciDP6xUNv
— Stiles Bitchley ✫✫ (@WeWhoDieSaluteU) September 13, 2021
Saturday’s rally is organized by Matt Braynard, who worked on Trump’s 2020 campaign. Dubbed “Justice for J6,” the rally is meant to draw attention to the way hundreds of people arrested for various violations during the Capitol riot in January are being treated.
Many of them have been held behind bars since their arrests months ago awaiting court dates and trials. Many of Trump’s staunchest allies to include several Republicans in Congress have described those incarcerated as political prisoners who have been treated more harshly because of their purported support for the ex-president.
“The reason why they’re taking these political prisoners is because they’re trying to make an example, because they don’t want to see the mass protests going on in Washington,” Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), said at a rally late last month.
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