U.S. Capitol Police on Sunday confirmed that fencing around the U.S. Capitol building will be reinstalled in advance of President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address Tuesday.
USCP Chief Tom Manger issued a statement that the fencing, which was first put in place following the Jan. 6, 2021, riots as Congress worked to certify the 2020 presidential election results, would be placed outside of the Capitol building, citing the State of the Union and “the possibility of demonstrations in the next couple of weeks.”
“Out of an abundance of caution, and in conjunction with the United States Secret Service, a plan has been approved to put up the inner-perimeter fence around the Capitol building for the State of the Union Address,” he said.
Manger added Capitol Police have also “requested support from outside law enforcement agencies as well as the National Guard.”
The fencing stood around the Capitol for six months following the insurrection last year and was put back in place in September ahead of a rally in support of people who were arrested during the siege.
Sunday’s announcement comes as a group of truckers, inspired by Canada’s “Freedom Convoy,” are expected to arrive in Washington, D.C. in the coming week to protest COVID-19 restrictions throughout the nation.
Members of the People’s Convoy, who say they do not plan to obstruct roads or otherwise block traffic like their Canadian counterparts, are expected to arrive in the Capitol on March 5, four days after Biden’s address.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved about 700 National Guard members to aid police ahead of the convoy’s arrival. Officials said the National Guard support troops will not be armed.
However, spinoff groups including some that intend to join with the People’s Convoy from other parts of the country have said they plan to reach Washington, D.C., by Tuesday, making it difficult for Capitol law enforcement to predict how many people may participate in demonstrations, The Washington Post reported.
One organizer requested to hold a rally on March 1 with as many as 1,000-3,000 attendees at the Sylvan Theater on the Washington Monument grounds to “support the convoys of Canada, according to a permit submitted to the National Park Service, but no permit had been issued as of Friday.
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