The Capitol is fenced in before a demonstration by Trump’s supporters

EThis week, the security fence that was erected after the storming of Congress on January 6th of this year is due to be rebuilt in front of the Capitol in Washington. The new head of the Capitol Police, Thomas Manger, informed the parliamentary group leaders of Democrats and Republicans in both chambers of Congress about the security measure on Monday.

Majid Sattar

Political correspondent for North America based in Washington.

The “spokeswoman” for the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, had asked for the briefing. The reason for the security measure is the “Justice for J6” demonstration planned for Saturday, at which supporters of former President Donald Trump are demanding justice for those charged as a result of the storming of the Capitol.

The demonstration is scheduled to take place in Union Square on the National Mall overlooking the Capitol. Police chief Manger announced after the briefing that if everything went well, the fence could soon be dismantled. But he also said: He advises anyone who is considering causing trouble to stay at home. The security forces would not tolerate violence and would take immediate action.

“Unsettling” communication in online forums

The Capitol Police and other police units in the capital were sharply criticized after January 6 for their mission in which they were at the mercy of violent extremists. Manger has called on police units from neighboring counties in Maryland and Virginia for assistance over the weekend. They are also in contact with the Pentagon, it said.

The Capitol Police referred to “disturbing” communication on online forums. However, experts who observe the online activities of relevant right-wing radical groups emphasize that, unlike before January 6, there is little online activity this time. Matt Braynard, a former member of Trump’s campaign team, is one of the organizers of the demonstration. He emphasizes that he is interested in peaceful protest. The security fence is mainly theater. The right-wing extremist “Proud Boys” have called on their members not to go to Washington, as one must expect to be arrested.

In the core of Trump supporters, the narrative has now prevailed that there were at most a few violent criminals on January 6th. The vast majority of the “demonstrators” were peaceful. They just wanted to protest against the Democrats’ “electoral fraud”. It is also rumored that undercover agents of the FBI actually started the riot.

Security agencies have arrested more than 500 people in 40 states in connection with January 6th in the past few months. Many Trump supporters regard them as “prisoners of war”. Trump himself also speaks of the fact that the participants in his rally on that day were “patriots”. Many who later marched on to Congress were wrongly arrested.

Trump shoots at George W. Bush

Trump responded on Monday to remarks by former President George W. Bush. He said of the Republican, with whose family he had been feuding for many years, that he was a failed president; September 11, 2001 happened during his tenure. He should therefore not give lectures on the fact that domestic terrorism is a bigger problem than Islamist terrorism.

On Saturday, the 20th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks, Bush had said in view of the storming of the Capitol on January 6th that the danger could not only come from outside, but also from within. Even if Islamist extremists and violent radicals have little in common, they are “children of the same depraved spirit”.

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