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Feds may build ‘non-scalable’ fence around White House for possible Election Day unrest says report

The White House. (Pxhere/Released)
November 02, 2020

A “non-scalable” fence will likely be built around the White House perimeter Monday in preparation for demonstrations that are expected to take place in the wake of Election Day.

The fence will provide additional security for The People’s House, encompassing the Ellipse and Lafayette Square, CNN reported, citing a source close to the matter. It will run down 15th Street to Constitution Avenue, over to 17th Street, up H street, before finally coming down 15th Street again.

According to CNN, The Secret Service did not confirm the plans to erect the fence.

Law enforcement and other agencies have been making preparations for possible civil unrest could erupt after the election, especially if a winner is not declared by November 4.

The same type of fence was erected around the White House earlier in June as protests and riots raged through the capital city. While the 1600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue is normally open to pedestrians, it has previously closed down for security incidents like suspicious packages and presidential movements.

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“These closures are in an effort to maintain the necessary security measures surrounding the White House complex, while also allowing for peaceful demonstration,” a US Secret Service spokesperson told CNN at the time.

A popular protest gathering spot is Lafayette Park, which sits across the street from the north side of the White House. The area has been mostly fenced-in since DC police moved in on demonstrators in July.

DC Police Chief Peter Newsham recently warned lawmakers that the likelihood of civil unrest following the election is high. Businesses throughout the city also boarded up windows and doors in anticipation of destructive demonstrations.

“It is widely believed that there will be civil unrest after the November election, regardless of who wins,” Newsham said. “It is also believed that there is a strong chance of unrest when Washington, D.C., hosts the inauguration in January.”

The District recently replenished their dwindling stockpile of less-lethal munitions and chemical irritants, costing the city $100,000. DC police have also limited leave for officers in order to ensure sufficient staffing.

Despite the additional security around The White House, months of destructive riots, and growing concerns from local law enforcement, officials have not recommended business board up their windows, The Washington Post reported.

“We do not have any intelligence on planned activity to suggest the need to board up; however, we remain vigilant,” John Falcicchio, deputy mayor for planning and economic development, said. “We understand the difficult position building owners and operating businesses are in, and we call upon all who participate in the First Amendment activities to denounce violence and report it immediately should it occur.”