DC mayor calls in National Guard ahead of pro-Trump protests
Bracing for possible violence, the nations capital has mobilised the National Guard ahead of planned protests by President Donald Trumps supporters in connection with the congressional vote expected Wednesday to affirm Joe Bidens election victory.PTI | Washington DC | Updated: 05-01-2021 08:21 IST | Created: 05-01-2021 08:21 IST
Bracing for possible violence, the nation's capital has mobilised the National Guard ahead of planned protests by President Donald Trump's supporters in connection with the congressional vote expected Wednesday to affirm Joe Biden's election victory. Trump's supporters are planning to rally Tuesday and Wednesday, seeking to bolster the president's unproven claims of widespread voter fraud. “There are people intent on coming to our city armed,” DC Acting Police Chief Robert Contee said Monday.
A previous pro-Trump rally in December ended in violence as hundreds of Trump supporters, wearing the signature black and yellow of the Proud Boys faction, sought out confrontations with a collective of local activists attempting to bar them from Black Lives Matter Plaza, an area near the White House. Trump has repeatedly encouraged the protests and hinted that he may get personally involved. Over the weekend, he retweeted a promotion for the rally with the message, “I will be there. Historic Day!” At a November rally, which drew about 15,000 people, Trump staged a limousine drive-by past cheering crowds in Freedom Plaza, on the city's iconic Pennsylvania Avenue. And at the December rally, which drew smaller numbers but a larger contingent of Proud Boys, Trumps helicopter flew low over cheering crowds on the National Mall. The protests coincide with Wednesday's congressional vote expected to certify the Electoral College results, which Trump continues to dispute.
Election officials from both political parties, governors in key battleground states and Trump's former attorney general, William Barr, have said there was no widespread fraud in the election. Nearly all the legal challenges from Trump and his allies have been dismissed by judges, including two rejected by the Supreme Court. Now with downtown DC businesses boarding up their windows, Mayor Muriel Bowser has requested a limited National Guard deployment to help bolster the Metropolitan Police Department.
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