Washington, D.C. has decided to lock down the week before the presidential inauguration in anticipation of violence.
The deadly riot at the Capitol on January 6th has “impacted the way we are approaching working with our federal partners in planning for the 59th inauguration,” Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said on Wednesday. Bowser is asking that people not show up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration in the wake of the violence. The FBI is also warning that armed demonstrations by violent Donald Trump supporters are being planned in all state capitals and Washington to protest Biden’s win. Trump has long claimed that the election was stolen from him.
The Capitol is being blocked off with large black fencing to prevent rioters from re-accessing it. Uniformed National Guard troops are also a staple in and around the White House and Capitol building.
As of Wednesday, anyone inside the perimeter of the inauguration may be stopped and questioned by authorities, and beginning Friday, all parking garages in restricted zones downtown will be sealed through the inauguration.
The local Black Lives Matter affiliate and Shutdown DC are pushing for local hotels to voluntarily close and pay their staff for the day off, as they attempt to close off lodging options for protesters in response to the threat of violence. Several downtown hotels have already taken this initiative by voluntarily closing down to avoid potentially violent run-ins with Trump supporters.
“Closing hotels completely for these six nights is the only way to guarantee the safety of hotel workers, neighbors, vulnerable and unhoused residents, incoming administration officials, members of Congress, and our democracy,” a joint statement from the organizations read. “If hotels do not willingly close, we ask Mayor Bowser to extend today’s emergency order and close all hotels in the city.”
D.C. Officials confirmed that more National Guard members could be deployed in addition to the 15,000 that have already been activated.