The U.S. Capitol Police announced on Friday that security fencing will once again be erected around the United States Capitol grounds ahead of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address in anticipation of trucker convoy protests scheduled to arrive in Washington, D.C. on the day of the president’s speech.
“Law enforcement agencies across the National Capital Region are aware of plans for a series of truck convoys arriving in Washington, DC around the time of the State of the Union. As with any demonstration, the USCP will facilitate lawful First Amendment activity,” the USCP said in a statement.
The Capitol Police said the agency is working closely with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the Metropolitan Police Department, the United States Park Police, the United States Secret Service, the DC National Guard, and “other allied agencies.”
“The United States Capitol Police and the United States Secret Service have been closely working together to plan for the upcoming State of the Union,” the USCP said in an update. “The temporary inner-perimeter fence is part of those ongoing discussions and remains an option, however at this time no decision has been made.”
A fence topped with razor wire was previously installed around the Capitol grounds following the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The 7-foot-tall fence wasn’t removed until July 2021, and was reinstalled for several days ahead of an anticipated rally in September.
One trucker convoy demonstration that has D.C. law enforcement on alert is set to leave Los Angeles on Feb. 25 and arrive in Washington, D.C. on March 1. The group plans to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions implemented by the Biden administration, as well as state and local governments.
“Freedom Convoy USA” announced their plans to head to D.C. on the same day that police in Ottawa, Canada, began arresting demonstrators at the original “Freedom Convoy” peaceful protest.
According to the New York Post, the president’s first State of the Union address is open to all 535 members of Congress, but guests will not be allowed to attend. All attendees will also be forced to wear a KN95 or N95 mask for the duration of Biden’s speech.
Members of Congress attending the event will also be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test within a day of the speech. Officials have also “strongly recommended” members of Congress receive their COVID-19 booster shot, and will be forced to use “hand cleanser” when entering the House chamber.