Capitol Fencing to Go Back Up Ahead of Sept. 18 ‘Justice for J6’ Rally

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
September 13, 2021 Updated: September 13, 2021

Fencing will be re-erected around the U.S. Capitol this week as law enforcement officials prepare for a demonstration planned for Sept. 18.

Matt Braynard, a former Trump campaign operative, is organizing the rally to call for the release of people who aren’t accused of carrying out violence on Jan. 6 during the Capitol breach but nonetheless remain in jail.

After briefing members of Congress, Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger confirmed the fencing will be put back up ahead of the rally.

“The fence will go up a day or two before, and if everything goes well, it will come down very soon after,” he said on Sept. 13.

Organizers expect hundreds of people to attend the “Justice for J6” event. It could be the largest gathering at the Capitol since Jan. 6.

Manger told The Epoch Times in an email that his agency is “closely monitoring” the planned event but that he’s confident, given the changes in intelligence-gathering and sharing made after Jan. 6, that “the work we are doing now will make sure our officers have what they need to keep everyone safe.”

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police Department said via email that the agency would be “fully prepared” for upcoming events.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters after being briefed by Manger and other Capitol Police officials: “They seemed very, very well prepared. Much better prepared than before Jan. 6. I think they’re ready for whatever might happen.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also said that the Capitol Police’s plan “seems much better” than that in place before Jan. 6.

Braynard told The Epoch Times in an email: “This is a political decision to intimidate patriotic Americans from exercising their First Amendment rights.

“The DC police and Capitol Police know very well that we will bring no disorder, but the political leadership is terrified of us shining the light on their political persecution of innocent Americans. This will not deter us.”

In several social media posts, Braynard said the rally is meant to be peaceful and that organizers have worked for two months with Capitol, Washington, and park police, in addition to private security.

There will be a “secure perimeter” and metal detectors at the event, which will be 100 percent run by his group, Look Ahead America, he added.

The rally’s location is Union Square between 1st and 3rd streets, according to an email sent to people interested in attending that was seen by The Epoch Times. It’s slated to start at 12 p.m.

Prospective attendees were told to travel in groups, be respectful to private security and law enforcement, not wear clothing or wear banners supporting a specific politician or ex-politician, including former President Donald Trump, and to wear red, white, and blue and bring signs to show support for people imprisoned for allegedly committing crimes on Jan. 6.

The demonstration has been heavily criticized by Democrats, who allege it’s aimed at downplaying the breach.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told a press conference last week, “These people are coming back to praise the people who were out to kill, out to kill Members of Congress, successfully causing the deaths—‘successfully’ is not the word, but that’s the word, because it’s what they set out to do—of our law enforcement.”

Every Washington or federal law enforcement officer who was present at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and later died was found to have died from natural causes or suicide, including U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.

Several protesters died on Jan. 6, including Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by a Capitol police officer.

Pelosi’s office didn’t respond to a request for clarification.

Correction: A previous version of this article inaccurately stated the number of people who died on Jan. 6. The Epoch Times regrets the error.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.