Apparently not content with erecting an inextensible fence to protect the United States Capitol, police have asked the Pentagon to provide National Guard troops as supporters of former President Donald Trump return to Washington for a rally.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby confirmed the request on Wednesday, acknowledging it was made as part of a protest scheduled for Saturday against the alleged mistreatment of suspects during the Capitol riot in January. He said the Capitol Police Department (CPD) was looking for “Workforce support” for the rally, and the request is being processed.
“We have received a request for help from the Capitol Police for this weekend’s protests.” – Pentagon Press Sec. John Kirby on Saturday’s “Justice for January 6” rally scheduled for DC pic.twitter.com/Pjoo6Y3mFY
– The recount (@therecount) September 15, 2021
The CPD then published a declaration confirming that he had asked the Defense Ministry to provide National Guard troops to be deployed if needed on Saturday.
About 26,000 National Guard troops were brought to Washington in the aftermath of the riot, and many were kept around Capitol Hill for months to provide strict security during and after the inauguration of President Joe Biden. The fence around the Capitol was finally pulled down in July, six months after the riot, but Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger told reporters on Monday it would go back up for Saturday. “Justice for the J6” demonstration.
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An overwhelming security presence can help support the narrative that Trump instigated violent and racist insurgents, who pose a primary threat to American democracy. U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday that police did “Unprecedented preparations to face yet another attempt to sully our national goal.”
It is not known how the protesters could threaten the “National goal”. According to a Department of Homeland Security estimate, only about 700 people are expected to attend Saturday’s event, and organizers have asked protesters not to wear clothing or carry signs supporting Trump or Biden. The rally protests how the more than 600 people arrested in connection with the Capitol riot were treated.
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At least six Republican members of Congress held a press conference on July 27 to denounce the fact that hundreds of defendants remained in jail for months awaiting trial. “They are political prisoners who are now being persecuted and suffering unjust suffering”, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Arizona) said.
Some of the detainees are said to have been abused by the guards or other detainees. Gosar said some suspects were being held in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day.
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