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U.S. Capitol fencing to reappear ahead of planned 'J6' rally

By
Don Jacobson
Security fencing around the U.S. Capitol, which came down in July, will reappear this week ahead of Saturday's planned Justice for J6 rally. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Security fencing around the U.S. Capitol, which came down in July, will reappear this week ahead of Saturday's planned "Justice for J6" rally. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 13 (UPI) -- A security fence around the U.S. Capitol will be reinstalled ahead of a weekend rally to support people arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection, Capitol Police said Monday.

The controversial fencing was installed shortly after the deadly riot by supporters of President Donald Trump and wasn't removed until July, drawing complaints from some lawmakers and nearby residents.

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The 7-foot-tall fencing and razor wire will make a reappearance sometime this week as authorities prepare for Saturday's planned "Justice for J6" rally, Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said.

"We are here to protect everyone's First Amendment right to peacefully protest," he said in a written statement. "I urge anyone who is thinking about causing trouble to stay home. We will enforce the law and not tolerate violence."

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He said the Capitol Police Board approved a plan to temporarily reinstall the fence after becoming aware of "concerning" online chatter about the rally, whose organizers assert many of those arrested after the riot are nonviolent "political prisoners."

Counter protests are also planned.

Manger told reporters senior U.S. lawmakers were briefed Monday on the intelligence gathered about the rally and indicated the current plan is to remove the fencing "very soon after" the rally if "all goes well."

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The decision came on the same day that police arrested an armed 44-year-old California man near Democratic National Committee headquarters, located a few blocks south of the Capitol.

Officials said Donald Craighead of Oceanside, Calif., had several knives, a bayonet and a machete inside his truck. Police said Craighead told them he was "on patrol" at the time.

Authorities said the man's truck had a swastika and other white supremacist symbols painted on it and was parked outside of DNC headquarters. Instead of a license plate, there was an image of an American flag on the vehicle.

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Donald Trump supporters breach Capitol, riot over election results

Supporters of President Donald Trump riot against the Electoral College vote count on Wednesday in protest of Trump's loss to President-elect Joe Biden, prompting a lockdown of the Capitol Building. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

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