Last week, incumbent US President Donald Trump announced a “Stop the Steal” protest rally in Washington on 6 January, which coincides with Wednesday’s congressional vote expected to certify the Electoral College results.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has called in the National Guard ahead of Wednesday’s rally by President Donald Trump’s supporters in Washington. The “Stop the Steal” rally will be held on the same day as the US Congress is expected to affirm Joe Biden’s election victory, which Trump claims is due to extensive voter fraud.
In a bid to boost the Metropolitan Police Department and prevent possible violence, Bowser urged local residents to stay away from downtown DC and avoid conflict with anyone “looking for a fight”.
Bowser, however, also stressed that “we will not allow people to incite violence, intimidate our residents, or cause destruction in our city”.
According to AP, citing an anonymous US defence official, Bowser put in a request on New Year’s Eve to have the National Guard deployed from Tuesday to Thursday.
The source also claimed that roughly 340 National Guard members will be called in, with about 115 on duty in the streets “at any given time”. The troops won’t be armed, they will be used for traffic control and crowd management, the official said.
Organisers of the protest rally are said to be planning to gather on Tuesday evening at Freedom Plaza and on Wednesday on the Ellipse, intending to march…