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Police to reinstall Capitol fencing ahead of ‘justice for Jan. 6’ rally on Sept. 18

Barbed wire atop security fencing, with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 16, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
September 09, 2021

Fencing that surrounded the United States Capitol complex for months following the January 6 storming of Capitol Hill is set to be reinstalled next week ahead of a rally calling for justice for those jailed after the January demonstration.

According to The Associated Press, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested additional safety measures would be implemented before the Sept. 18 “Justice for J6” rally, telling reporters, “We intend to have the integrity of the Capitol be intact.”

A security plan for the event is still be finalized, and includes a perimeter fence surrounding the Capitol building and Supreme Court, but not around nearby congressional office buildings, a person familiar with the plans told the AP. A House Democrat aide also said the Capitol Police formally requesting the fencing, which is expected to be approved.

Law enforcement agencies anticipate groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers will attend the rally, but Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio said he doesn’t expect members of his group to be there.

On Wednesday, Democrat Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton said she supports the decision to erect fencing around the Capitol once again.

“I would hope that we wouldn’t have to fence in the Capitol every time there’s a demonstration,” Norton said, adding, “If they go with the fence, I’m not going to criticize them.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see the fence go up,” she said. “The preparations are certainly going to be more than they were on Jan. 6.”

Colorado GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert blasted the plans to reinstall the fencing, slamming Speaker Pelosi’s position on the United States’ southern border with Mexico.  

“Open Borders Nancy Pelosi is getting ready to put the Capitol Fence back up,” Boebert tweeted. “Nothing says ‘The People’s House’ quite like razor wire.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki also addressed the fencing during a briefing Thursday.

“I would say first that the leaders on Capitol Hill take steps to ensure that their members are safe. And obviously the events on Jan. 6, a terrible day in our Democracy, are still fresh in their minds, so of course they’re going to take those steps,” Psaki said. “They rely on their own safety and security guidance and we certainly defer to them on that step.”

The security fencing around the U.S. Capitol erected after the Jan. 6 storming was just removed in July after nearly six months. The U.S. Capitol Police said it was taken down “based on the current threat environment and recent enhancements to the USCP’s response capabilities.”