The mayor of Washington DC has called on the National Guard to help police the massive pro-Trump rallies taking place this week in the nation’s capital.
In a letter to the commanding general of the Washington National Guard, Mayor Muriel Bowser said the military presence was necessary to prevent “violence” and “criminal activity.”
“As you know, the First Amendment protests authorized by the National Park Service are scheduled to take place in the District of Columbia on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 and Wednesday, January 6, 2021,” the letter to the commanding general of the DC National Guard Mayor Bowser’s William J Walker says.
“As a result, the district government is requesting the support of the DC National Guard (DCNG), as these protests will follow similar events on November 4, 2020 and December 12, 2020, resulting in a large influx of participants, violence and criminal activity. ”
“We will not allow people to incite violence, intimidate our residents or cause destruction in our city,” the mayor said in separate comments.
The letter says National Guard troops will support local law enforcement, will not be armed, and will not be used to monitor or search protesters.
Additionally, signs around town remind protesters that their Second Amendment rights are suspended in designated free speech zones.
“Members of the public and anyone attending events are reminded that district law prohibits anyone from carrying a firearm within 1,000 feet of any First Amendment activity,” a Department of Public Affairs PowerPoint note read. DC Health, adding in red letters: “It is illegal to open carrying guns in the district. “
“Anyone who carries a firearm during a protest or within 1,000 feet of a protest will be arrested, according to Washington law, said the acting chief of police,” reports NBC Washington.
Concealed wearing is allowed as long as a person has received a license from the district, according to the mayor’s office.
Military preparations suggest the rallies will be far larger than any pro-Trump protests previously seen in DC.
For his part, President Trump did his best to generate enthusiasm for the event he was reportedly scheduled to speak at.
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