Fence goes up around US Capitol ahead of Saturday rally

A large group is expected at the Capitol on Saturday to protest the arrests and criminal charges against some 600 people in connection with a Jan 6 riot by supporters of former president Donald Trump.
A large group is expected at the Capitol on Saturday to protest the arrests and criminal charges against some 600 people in connection with a Jan 6 riot by supporters of former president Donald Trump.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Workers began installing a fence around the United States Capitol late on Wednesday (Sept 15) ahead of a protest scheduled for Sept 18, and police asked the National Guard to be ready to help with security if needed.

A large group is expected at the Capitol on Saturday to protest the arrests and criminal charges against some 600 people in connection with a Jan 6 riot by supporters of former president Donald Trump.

The tall fence was first erected following the Jan 6 attack on the building that houses the US Senate and House of Representatives. It was dismantled in July.

The US Capitol Police (USCP) on Wednesday said it has asked the Pentagon to provide National Guard troops if they are needed to help with security.

"The USCP has asked the Department of Defence for the ability to receive National Guard support should the need arise on Sept 18," the police department statement said.

No details were provided on the potential number of National Guard troops that could be deployed.

Mr Trump falsely claimed that the election was stolen from him as a result of massive election fraud. He gave a fiery speech to supporters at a rally on Jan 6 outside the White House just prior to their attack on the Capitol.

Battling law enforcement outside and inside the Capitol, the rioters were trying to stop Congress from formal certification of Joe Biden's victory in the November 2020 presidential election.

Many of the Jan 6 rioters carried Trump flags, which at times were used as weapons against law enforcement.

Four people died on the day of the riot, one fatally shot by police and three from medical emergencies. A Capitol Police officer who had been attacked by protesters died the following day. Four police officers who took part in the defence of the Capitol later committed suicide.