WASHINGTON — The fencing installed around the U.S. Capitol that was up for months after the January 2021 insurrection will be put back up before President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday as concern grows about potential demonstrations of truck convoys snarling traffic in the nation’s capital.
The United States Capitol Police said in a release the road closures taking place on March 1 are consistent with previous road closures and are not specifically due to the possible truck and vehicle convoys.
Some of the street closures will begin at 5:30 p.m. on March 1 and the rest will begin at 7 p.m. on March 1.
The USCP Chief Tom Manger stated that the USCP has been working on a security plan with federal, state and local law enforcement in order to prevent congress from being disrupted.
Outside law enforcement agencies and the National Guard have also been asked to assist with security precautions, according to Manger.
Manger further stated that a plan was approved "in conjunction with the United States Secret Service" to place an inner perimeter fence around the Capitol building for the State of the Union Address "out an abundance of caution."
Manger said his force's “mission to protect the United States Congress, the Capitol, and the legislative process remains unwavering.” Manger said.
The fence was a stark symbol of the aftermath at the Capitol after the mob pushed its way past overwhelmed police officers, broke through windows and doors and ransacked the building as Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden’s electoral win. It remained up for several months.
The U.S. Capitol Police Board had approved a plan to briefly reinstall the fence for a rally in September that was organized to support people who remained jailed in connection with the insurrection. Law enforcement officers and members of the media vastly outnumbered the protesters and only a few incidents were reported.
Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee has said his department is closely monitoring the shifting information and would be devoting additional policing in a rolling state of heightened alert over the next few weeks.
On Sunday, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said that she understands the need for the fencing, but wants it to come down as soon as possible after any potential threat is over.
“I understand the security concerns related to the trucker convoy and the State of the Union address that led to the fencing being temporarily reinstalled around the Capitol," Norton said in a statement. "However, I will ensure that the fencing comes down as soon as possible to restore freedom of movement for District of Columbia residents and the general public.”
In February 2021, Norton introduced the No Fencing at the United States Capitol Complex Act that would prohibit the installation of permanent fencing at the Capitol complex. She consistently called to remove the temporary fencing installed at the Capitol complex after the Jan. 6 attack.