Police in Washington are bolstering security ahead of a planned rally in support of pro-Trump rioters on Saturday.
Security agencies are expecting hundreds of right-wing demonstrators to descend on the area in support of the more than 600 people who were arrested during the US Capitol riot on January 6.
Police not wanting a repeat of Capitol riot
Chief of police in the US Capitol, Tom Manger, told a press briefing on Friday, that police had been working over the last eight months to ensure that there wouldn’t be a repeat of the violent scenes of January 6.
Manger did say that there had been threats of violence ahead of the planned protest.
“We have a strong plan in place to ensure that it remains peaceful,” he said. “We’re not going to tolerate violence, and we’re not going to tolerate criminal behavior of any kind.”
Manger said officers had adequate resources and training and their mission was to “ensure everyone’s rights to free speech” and to allow a lawful demonstration.
The fence that had surrounded the US Capitol building has been re-erected and 100 National Guard troops have been placed on standby. They will be on hand to assist police in maintaining safety, should it be required, and will be armed with batons.
What is ‘Justice for J6’?
The protest is being organized by Matt Braynard who had been a campaign strategist for former President Donald Trump. He has been promoting Justice for J6 for allies of the US former leader.
The rally on Saturday is in support of those still held behind bars for their role in the January 6 riot.
On that day, thousands of Trump supporters ran amok at the US Capitol in a bid to disrupt the confirmation of President Joe Biden’s victory.
Lawmakers were forced into hiding as protesters breached security.
In the chaos, five people were killed and many more were injured. A number of those who were arrested have been identified as being involved with extremist groups.