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Capitol Cops Are Braced for Trouble at 'Justice for J6' Rally

Fencing around building may be restored for Sept. 18
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2021 6:34 AM CDT
Capitol Police Are Braced for Violence at Sept. 18 Rally
In this April 2, 2021 photo, the Capitol is seen behind security fencing.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(Newser) – Supporters of the hundreds of people arrested after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack are planning to gather outside the building on Sept. 18—and law enforcement agencies including the Capitol Police are braced for trouble at the "Justice for J6" rally. According to a Capitol Police memo seen by CNN, there has been a rise in violent rhetoric online about the event, with some viewing it as a "Justice for Ashli Babbitt" rally. The DC police force has been fully activated. The Capitol force says all available officers will be working that day and assistance has been requested from police forces in Maryland and Virginia, though unlike on Jan. 6, when Congress met to certify President Biden's win, few lawmakers are expected to be at the Capitol on Sept. 18. More:

  • Officials plan to reinstall fencing. A source tells the AP that the Capitol force has formally requested the reinstallation of temporary fencing that was put around the complex after the Jan. 6 riot, and the request is likely to be granted. The fencing was in place for months after the attack.

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  • Greene, Cawthorn won't be there. Politico reports that GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Madison Cawthorn, who have described people arrested in connection with the riot as "political prisoners," will not be at the rally, according to spokespeople. A spokesperson for Rep. Matt Gaetz declined to comment.
  • Pelosi speaks out. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that lawmakers will be briefed on security plans, and "we intend to have the integrity of the Capitol be intact," the Hill reports. "What happened on Jan. 6 was such an assault on this beautiful Capitol," Pelosi said. "And now these people are coming back to praise the people who were out to kill."

  • Organizer insists it will be peaceful. Lead organizer Matt Braynard, a former Trump campaign worker who founded the Look Ahead America group, says the rally will not be violent. "This is a completely peaceful protest," he tells CNN's Jessica Schneider. "And we have told people that when they come, we don't want to see any messaging about the election, we don't want to see any messaging on T-shirts and flags or signs about candidates or anything like that." He blames the Jan. 6 violence on a "few bad actors" and claims the "vast majority of people were exercising their First Amendment rights at a public building."
  • Proud Boys told to stay away. Braynard denies that his organization has links to the Proud Boys or similar groups. The Proud Boys recently advised members to stay away from rally, saying it "sounds like bait," though members of some factions may still turn up, the Washington Post reports.
(Read more Capitol Police stories.)

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