Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) has called for the National Guard’s help in response to a planned “Stop the Steal” rally in support of President Donald Trump on January 6.
Estimates are that 5,000 or more people could show up to the White House Ellipse to hear speakers including the president himself, Trump family members, lawyers, and other prominent supporters on Wednesday morning starting at 9 a.m.
Rallygoers want to see Electoral College results in several states struck down by Congress or decertified by the states because of alleged voter fraud there, along with some states’ failure to follow their own election laws.
Rally against accepting election results
The rally coincides with the Electoral College certification by Congress, during which more than 100 Republicans in the House and at least a dozen in the Senate are expected to object to the votes in some states, triggering debate in both chambers and a vote on whether to accept the results.
Senate Republicans are calling for a 10-day electoral commission to be appointed to conduct an emergency audit of vote results in contested states. Trump is calling on Pence not to certify results in those states, which would lead to Trump getting a second term.
“According to a U.S. defense official, Mayor Muriel Bowser put in a request on New Year’s Eve to have Guard members on the streets from Jan. 5-7th, to help with the protests,” the Associated Press reported Monday. “The official said the D.C. National Guard members will be used for traffic control and other assistance but they will not be armed or wearing body armor.
Bowser did not activate the Guard during the Republican National Convention, when anti-Trump protests did get violent and Sen. Rand Paul (R-WI) was targeted and narrowly escaped with the help of police. There is no reason to expect the protests around election results will be violent.
Many streets blocked off
“There will be about 115 Guard troops on duty at any one time in the city, said the defense official, who provided details on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations,” the AP continued. “The official said Guard members will be used to set up traffic control points around the city and to stand with district police officers at all the city’s Metro stops. Acting Police Chief Robert Contee said Guard troops will also be used for some crowd management.”
Most of the downtown Washington, D.C. area will be blocked off during the time of the scheduled protests, the Washington Post reported. Areas that will be inaccessible include streets around the White House, the U.S. Capitol building, and the National Mall.
Bowser said at a Monday press conference that she “will not allow people to incite violence, intimidate our residents or cause destruction in our city.”
She asked residents and others in the area not to respond to Trump supporters “looking for a fight.”
Of course, it’s typical for Bowser and other Democrats to assume that the other side will become violent, since the left has regularly done so.