Tall metal fencing that surrounded the US Capitol for weeks following the riot on Jan. 6, will be going back up in advance of a weekend rally for those arrested, US Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger announced Monday.
Organizers of the “Justice for J6” rally on Saturday outside the Capitol say it is meant to demand “justice” for the more than 600 people arrested in the riot that happened as Congress was certifying Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election.
Organizers say they expect around 700 people to show up, and there are simultaneous rallies planned outside some state capitols around the country, as well, although it is impossible to know how many people might actually attend.
“The fence will go up a day or two before,” Saturday’s rally, said Manger, “and if everything goes well it will come down very soon after.”
Organizers of the rally portray those arrested, supporters of then-President Donald Trump who were angry over the results of the election, as “political prisoners”, “peaceful protestors” and “patriots”. They have gotten vocal support from several Republican members of Congress, but it is unclear if any members of Congress will speak or take part in the rally.
Manger told reporters he was confident there would be no repeat of the violence that happened on Jan. 6, when rioters trashed parts of the Capitol and sent lawmakers scrambling for safety.
On Monday, Capitol police arrested a California man after they found illegal stabbing weapons inside his truck as it sat outside the Democratic National Headquarters. The truck was adorned with white supremacist symbols and a swastika, although it was not known if the man was in town specifically for Saturday’s rally.
The riot on Jan. 6, left three of the rioters died, including Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by a Capitol police officer. One police officer died in the riot, and four more later committed suicide.