As a result of the chaos that ensued from a pro-Trump protest in Washington, D.C., last month, the mayor has requested the National Guard be deployed ahead of a similar protest scheduled for this week.
According to CNN, the National Guard has been mobilized to Washington, D.C., and will assist with crowd control and directing traffic for a pro-Trump demonstration scheduled for Wednesday, when Congress is set to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser sent a letter to Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, citing the violence and criminal activity that occurred during similar demonstrations in November and December.
“No DCNG personnel shall be armed during this mission, and at no time, will DCNG personnel or assets be engaged in domestic surveillance, searches, or seizures of US persons,” Bowser wrote.
Reps for Bowser’s office told CNN that the plan is for over 300 guardsmen to be activated, with a maximum of 114 guardsmen to be deployed throughout any point of the day. Guardsmen will be stationed at various street corners and subway stations alongside one DC police officer.
The demonstration is set to be an all-day event, with a march to the Capitol scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, according to NBC News. The soon-to-be evicted President Trump tweeted his approval of the rally, writing “I will be there. Historic day!” Trump is planning to speak at the rally, according to the Associated Press.
Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee addressed reports that some of the protesters plan to pull up to the event with guns, saying that they will not be allowed during the demonstration. “We have received some information that there are individuals intent on bringing firearms into our city, and that just will not be tolerated,” Contee said.
The pro-Trump rally that took place in December resulted in multiple churches having Black Lives Matter signs destroyed, with one set on fire in the middle of the street by a group of Proud Boys and Trump supporters. As a result, a lawsuit has been filed against the proud Boys on behalf of the Metropolitan AME church in DC and a leader of the organization, Enrique Tarrio, was arrested in connection with the destroyed signs.
Mayor Bowser has encouraged D.C. residents to avoid the downtown area on Wednesday as to avoid confrontations with anyone looking to start some shit. She added that she wouldn’t rule out instituting a curfew, saying it is “a tool that we will evaluate during the week.”