Pentagon mulls sending Nat'l Guard troops to D.C. ahead of trucker protest

Members of the National Guard walk past the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C, on March 4, 2021. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
1 of 3 | Members of the National Guard walk past the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C, on March 4, 2021. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 22 (UPI) -- The Pentagon confirmed Tuesday it has received a request from the U.S. Capitol Police for troop deployment in the city ahead of a planned trucker protest that could begin later in the week.

The Pentagon is weighing the request but has not yet made any decisions, Department of Defense Press Secretary John Kirby said in a statement issued to Politico and CNN.


Kirby did not specify how many troops were requested.

"The Department is analyzing a request for assistance from the U.S. Capitol Police and the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency," he said.

"Those agencies have asked for National Guard personnel to provide support at traffic control points in and around the District to help the USCP and DC government address potential challenges stemming from possible disruptions at key traffic arteries."

National Guard troops were notified of a possible activation beginning Tuesday and lasting through or later than March 7, according to the Military Times.

The National Guard would provide vehicles and personnel at 43 critical blocking positions 24 hours per day, it reported.

This comes after a "Freedom Convoy" of truckers created gridlock in Canada's capitol, Ottawa, occupying large areas of the downtown core while protesting COVID-19 restrictions. The city later declared a state of emergency and has to return to normal.


President Joe Biden is scheduled to give his State of the Union address on March 1 and Capitol Police are worried a similar event could hit Washington, D.C.

"Law enforcement agencies across the National Capital Region are aware of plans for a series of truck convoys arriving in Washington, D.C. around the time of the State of the Union," Capitol Police said Thursday.

"As with any demonstration, the USCP will facilitate lawful First Amendment activity. The USCP is closely coordinating with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including DC's Metropolitan Police Department, the United States Park Police, the United States Secret Service and other allied agencies to include the DC National Guard," the statement read.

The Capitol Police said it is "working closely" with the Secret Service to plan for the upcoming State of the Union.

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