Temporary Fencing to Surround Capitol Ahead of Right-Wing Rally The U.S. Capitol is seen through movable bike rack fencing on September 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. U.S. (Drew Angerer/Getty)
By Brian Freeman | Monday, 13 September 2021 05:17 PM
Temporary fencing around the Capitol will be put up ahead of a planned right-wing rally on Saturday in Washington D.C., Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger told reporters on Monday, CNN reported.
Manger said the decision came after the U.S. Capitol Police board approved the department's request ahead of the rally, which is being organized by a former Trump campaign staffer to back the jailed Jan. 6 rioters at the Capitol.
He said the "the fence will go up a day or two before [the demonstration], and if everything goes well, it will come down very soon after," according to CSPAN.
Fencing was put up around the Capitol after the riot. The fencing was eventually pared back and then was completely removed over the summer, CNN reported.
The proposed temporary fencing is expected to be smaller than what was up before and is not likely to obstruct traffic, a Capitol security source told CNN.
An internal Capitol Police memo has expressed concern about potential unrest during the rally in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, due to both increased violent rhetoric online concerning the demonstration and counterprotests that are being planned for the same day.
On Monday, Manger briefed the top four congressional leaders – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – about security preparations for the rally.
Manger said he shared with the congressional leaders “the intelligence information that we're aware of and a little bit about our operational plan," adding that the department will also hold a press briefing a "day or two" before the rally.
Pelosi said after the briefing that the planning "seems much better," but pointed out that she doesn't "have anything to compare it to, because we weren't briefed before" the January 6 riot.
The department has promised to improve communication and intelligence sharing with officers and other law enforcement agencies after the riot in the wake of internal reviews by the department that partly blamed a failure to do so previously for the lack of preparedness.
Manger's statement also came hours after police arrested a California man near the Democratic National Committee headquarters who had several large knives in his truck, which was painted with a swastika and other White supremacist symbols.
Just last month, some buildings around the Capitol were evacuated during a standoff lasting several hours with a suspect that said he had an explosive device.
The man was eventually arrested. Although no bomb was found in his truck, Capitol Police said that he possessed suspected bomb-making material.