•   
  •   
  •   

US Massive Capitol security operation awaits rally to support hundreds charged in deadly January riot

14:50  18 september  2021
14:50  18 september  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

Seven more US Capitol riot defendants plead guilty, including armed man who threatened to shoot Pelosi

  Seven more US Capitol riot defendants plead guilty, including armed man who threatened to shoot Pelosi Seven US Capitol riot defendants pleaded guilty on Friday to charges related to the January 6 insurrection, including one man who threatened to shoot House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. © Jon Cherry/Getty Images A large group of rioters stand on the East steps of the Capitol Building after storming its grounds on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. With this latest flurry of court activity, 10% of the more than 600 known federal defendants charged in connection with the deadly riot have pleaded guilty, according to CNN's latest tally. The most notable defendant to finalize a guilty plea was Cleveland Meredith Jr.

A vast security operation is being readied today to confront an undetermined number of demonstrators expected to return to the Capitol, this time to voice support for rioters swept up in the far-reaching federal investigation into the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the seat of government.

a large building: An inner perimeter anti-scaling fence is around the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) ORG XMIT: DCAB121 © Alex Brandon, AP An inner perimeter anti-scaling fence is around the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) ORG XMIT: DCAB121

Eight months after the Capitol building was breached by waves of violent supporters of former President Donald Trump, the grounds are once again sheathed in iron fencing, as a possible new test awaits an army of law enforcement officers who were badly overwhelmed in January.

Fact check: Social media users misinterpret DHS terrorism bulletin

  Fact check: Social media users misinterpret DHS terrorism bulletin The advisory suggests that extremist takes on those beliefs and behaviors could lead to future violence.“Behavior the White House and DHS deemed as terrorism today! Resisting Covid regulations, opposing government, spreading ‘misinformation,’ thinking the election was rigged,” reads text in an Aug. 14 Instagram post by the conservative social media agency Voiceban.

United States Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger, who assumed command following a security failure that claimed his predecessor's job, Friday declared the agency ready for the task despite battered officer ranks with some still recovering from riot-related injuries.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

More: Fencing returns to Capitol ahead of right-wing rally. What we know about 'Justice for J6' protest

More: 'Justice for J6' organizers urge rallygoers not to wear Trump, Biden clothes to DC protest

"We are planning for a safe event," Manger said at a joint Capitol news conference with city police officials. “We’re not going to tolerate violence and we won’t tolerate criminal behavior of any kind."

Capitol rally seeks to rewrite Jan. 6 by exalting rioters

  Capitol rally seeks to rewrite Jan. 6 by exalting rioters WASHINGTON (AP) — First, some blamed the deadly Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol on left-wing antifa antagonists, a theory quickly debunked. Then came comparisons of the rioters to peaceful protesters or even tourists. Now, allies of former President Donald Trump are calling those charged in the Capitol riot “political prisoners," a stunning effort to revise the narrative of that deadly day. The brazen rhetoric ahead of a rally planned for Saturday at the Capitol is the latest attempt to explain away the horrific assault and obscure what played out for all the world to see: rioters loyal to the then-president storming the building, battling police and trying to stop Co

a man wearing a hat: U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger speaks to reporters after attending a classified briefing with congressional leaders on the security preparations for a rally taking place this weekend on Capitol Hill on September 13, 2021 in Washington, D.C. © Anna Moneymaker, Getty Images U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger speaks to reporters after attending a classified briefing with congressional leaders on the security preparations for a rally taking place this weekend on Capitol Hill on September 13, 2021 in Washington, D.C.

In recent days, rally organizer Matt Braynard has appeared to downplay expectations for the size of the gathering, contending that the heavy security measures are more aimed at "intimidation" than protection and designed to discourage people from attending the so-called "Justice for J6" event.

"It's all meant to deter people from coming," said Braynard, a former Trump campaign staffer whose group has cast most of the more than 600 arrested in the Capitol attack as "political prisoners."

"It's all about dragging down attendance. In the end, it might just be me and a bullhorn," he told USA TODAY.

Trump issues support for Jan. 6 riot defendants as police brace for Capitol rally backing prisoners

  Trump issues support for Jan. 6 riot defendants as police brace for Capitol rally backing prisoners The Jan. 6 Capitol riot interrupted the confirmation by Congress that President Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in the race for the White House.Trump's statement that those people are being "persecuted" came as police in Washington prepared for Saturday's planned "Justice for J6" rally outside the Capitol, which is being held to support the defendants.

Trump, who lauded the Jan. 6 rioters as patriots, later this week appeared to whip support for Saturday's event, referring to rioters as "persecuted" protesters.

"Our hearts and minds are with the people being persecuted so unfairly relating to the January 6th protest concerning the Rigged Presidential Election," Trump said in a statement. "In addition to everything else, it has proven conclusively that we are a two-tiered system of justice. In the end, however, JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL!"

But Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, said the event is not generating the same social media excitement that accompanied Jan. 6.

Some groups, including the far-right Proud Boys, have been "mocking" the event, suggesting it's a set-up by law enforcement to conduct a new sweep of arrests," Beirich said.

"This is not an event that is being celebrated by far-right extremist groups," she said.

Capitol Police, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and Homeland Security

Early estimates have projected a crowd of up to 700 demonstrators who are expected to gather at Union Square, a public plaza just west of the Capitol.

DHS warns of potential for violence at rally for suspects in pro-Trump Capitol riot

  DHS warns of potential for violence at rally for suspects in pro-Trump Capitol riot The Department of Homeland Security issued a warning Thursday about the potential for violence at an upcoming right-wing rally in Washington, D.C., this weekend, according to an intelligence briefing obtained by Yahoo News. The document, which was unclassified and marked “For official use only,” was disseminated to federal, state and local law enforcement ahead of the “Justice for J6” rally, which is scheduled to take place on the U.S. Capitol grounds this Saturday.

If accurate, even that number would represent a fraction of the violent throng that ultimately swarmed the Capitol building in January, leaving five dead and nearly 150 police officers injured.

Yet that horrific January scene and a deadly April incident in which a car rammed a Capitol barricade, killing officer William Evans, remain fresh reminders that the iconic domed building not only serves as a symbol of American democracy but a looming target.

The anxiety was on display as recently as last month when parts of the government complex were evacuated after a North Carolina man, suffering from mental illness, warned that he was carrying a bomb in a pickup truck parked near the Capitol. No explosive was recovered, but the incident prompted an all-out response by law enforcement.

Little, apparently, is being left to chance Saturday, as federal and local law enforcement officials were called this week to brief lawmakers about their preparations.

Nancy Pelosi sitting in front of a laptop: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ORG XMIT: DCSA112 © J. Scott Applewhite, AP Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ORG XMIT: DCSA112

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., sent a letter to colleagues Wednesday promising that security officials would be better prepared for Saturday than on Jan. 6.

Social Media Chatter Around Capitol Rioter Protest Includes Targeting Lawmakers: DHS

  Social Media Chatter Around Capitol Rioter Protest Includes Targeting Lawmakers: DHS Rally organizers said that rally is meant to be a show of support for "political prisoners," referring to people jailed in connection with the riots on Jan. 6.More than 600 people have been charged so far in connection to the January riot and around 60 people are being kept behind bars. The DHS report said that some social media posts mentioned possibly storming the Capitol again on Friday night, while one poster "commented on kidnapping an identified member of Congress." The document did not provide the name of the identified lawmaker, the AP reported.

"The Leadership of the Congress, on a bipartisan and bicameral basis, has been briefed by the Capitol Police Board on the nature of the threat and the unprecedented preparations to address another attempt to defile our national purpose," Pelosi wrote.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., also has expressed satisfaction with the security plan.

"I think they're ready for whatever might happen,” Schumer said earlier this week.

Chuck Schumer wearing a suit and tie: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., kept senators working on the infrastructure package negotiated between Republicans and Democrats. © J. Scott Applewhite/AP Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., kept senators working on the infrastructure package negotiated between Republicans and Democrats.

In addition to the fencing and the full deployment of the Capitol Police, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department has activated its entire force for the event.

The Department of Homeland Security also said it was coordinating with Capitol Police and public safety partners "out of an abundance of caution," while others have urged preparations for a worst-case scenario.

Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, who oversaw a critical review of Capitol Police operations in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riot, said security officials "must assume that this rally has the potential to become a terrorist attack" and officers should be prepared to use lethal force, if necessary.

More: Local, federal police brace for upcoming rally supporting Jan. 6 Capitol riot defendants

Honore's report, released in March, called for a revamped training program, intelligence gathering system and an effort to fill hundreds of positions.

Domestic extremists return to the Capitol

  Domestic extremists return to the Capitol The “Justice for J6” rally makes clear that although extremists have been relatively quiet since the Jan. 6 insurrection, they are still active and menacing. © Getty Images Domestic extremists return to the Capitol The rally is the latest activity of the #FreePoliticalPrisoners movement launched by Look Ahead America (LAA). Founded in 2017 by former Trump campaign staffer Matt Braynard as a not-for-profit educational and lobbying group, LAA purports to speak for "rural and blue-collar patriotic Americans who are disaffected and disenfranchised from the nation's corridors of power.

“I’ve got confidence in them (Capitol police). They now have equipment to use in civil disturbances; they have been getting recent training. I don’t think they want to take another … whoopin,” Honore said.

"We ought not be stupid again," he said.

Russel L. Honore wearing a military uniform: Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore rides in a troop carrier as he goes to meetings with city and military officials in New Orleans in 2005. © H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore rides in a troop carrier as he goes to meetings with city and military officials in New Orleans in 2005.

Chuck Wexler, executive director of the law enforcement think tank Police Executive Research Forum who has talked with security planners, said Saturday's rally represents the “first major test” for local authorities since the deadly Capitol riot.

"So much happened on Jan. 6 that underscored the importance of intelligence, mutual aid, communications and the need for a ‘Plan B’," Wexler said.

Organizer: Event designed to be 'peaceful'

While the rally is pushing a politically-charged counter-narrative of the Jan. 6 violence, organizer Braynard maintains that the event, and other similar gatherings planned Saturday in more than a dozen states, are designed to be "peaceful."

In a video message, Braynard has urged demonstrators to be "respectful and kind" to law enforcement officers. He has discouraged attendees from openly supporting political candidates with distinctive clothing, flags and other symbols that associated Jan. 6 with Trump.

Instead, Braynard said the purpose was to call attention to what he described as "grave violations of civil rights" involving hundreds of those charged in the January riot.

"We're battling disinformation," he said in an interview.

Even if the event lacks numbers, Beirich, of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, said the group's message will likely resonate with the far-right.

"One of the biggest concerns is this narrative that they have been pushing, as if these (Jan. 6 rioters) were on the level of Martin Luther King," Beirich said. "It's part of an attempt at undermining our democratic principles."

.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Massive Capitol security operation awaits rally to support hundreds charged in deadly January riot

Opinion: What's really behind the 'Justice for J6' rally .
The so-called "Justice for J6" rally was smaller than expected. It also lacked the mayhem and violence the Department of Homeland Security feared might break out. But that doesn't mean it wasn't dangerous, writes Julian Zelizer.The so-called "Justice for J6" rally, a right-wing protest Saturday to support the insurrectionists facing criminal charges in the January 6 attack, was smaller than expected. It also lacked the mayhem and violence the Department of Homeland Security feared might break out.

usr: 1
This is interesting!