U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) requested National Guard support from the Pentagon to ensure security at the upcoming “Justice for J6” rally on Sept. 18, the USCP announced Wednesday.
Rally-goers plan to demonstrate in support of pro-Trump rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Police were severely underprepared to handle the events of Jan. 6, which saw thousands of rioters breaking windows, doors and barricades to gain access to the Capitol.
“The USCP has asked the Department of Defense for the ability to receive National Guard support should the need arise on September 18,” the USCP said in a statement. (RELATED: DOJ Expects At Least 100 More Charges Over Capitol Riots)
The department has not announced how many National Guards it has requested, however.
Fencing surrounding the Capitol has already returned in anticipation of the event. The Capitol and other federal buildings were surrounded by fencing for months following Jan. 6 and President Joe Biden’s inauguration. City officials have urged rally-goers to remain peaceful and not to come armed.
Capitol Fence 2: this time with surveillance tower pic.twitter.com/wQlB7Pla9q
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) September 16, 2021
“As we look across social media, there are calls on some of the disparate sites for folks to come armed. We’ve seen that before on a lot of our other events. So, this is reminding folks that come to the District what our laws are here and that, you know, you can’t carry a gun here,” DC Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Chris Geldart told NBC Washington.
“The Capitol is actually in discussions with them in case them for a quick reaction force. But aside from that, they’re getting resources from the region, law enforcement resources from the region, to come in to support,” Gledart added.
Counter-protesters have also announced a competing rally condemning the “Justice for J6” attendees as “insurrectionists, nazis, and white supremacists.”
One rioter was shot and killed during Jan. 6 for attempting to climb over a hastily-erected barricade inside the Capitol building. The rioters believed false claims from former President Donald Trump that the 2020 election was stolen. They sought to prevent Congress from ratifying Biden’s victory.