The White House grounds were reinforced with fencing and concrete barriers ahead of massive planned protests on Saturday.
Thousands of protesters converged on the streets around the White House in what was reportedly the largest George Floyd protest yet.
Unlike earlier in the week, according to media reports as of late Saturday afternoon, the protests have remained peaceful and no arrests have been made so far.
According to a report by the Washington Examiner, some of the groups that planned to protest in Washington D.C. on Saturday included “Refuse Fascism,” “No Justice No Peace,” “Black Deaf DC,” and one whose name is unclear.
Refuse Fascism put out a tweet for a “protest” to take place “this Saturday” at “Lafayette Square, Washington D.C. & Everywhere.” “No more police murder of black people; No fascist police state; No fascist military war on the people; Trump/Pence #OutNow,” the group wrote.
No Justice No Peace was scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. by the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill. Black Deaf DC had a “protest” planned for “2 p.m. Saturday,” writing, “we will take our signs to own the streets for 1 million strong.”
And the unnamed group planned for a “main event” at the “Lincoln Memorial” at “12 p.m. Sat.” “We need as many people as possible,” the message read, “If you haven’t showed up to a protest yet, it’s time to mobilize + all your friends.”
Democratic strategist Adam Parkhomenko has suggested that as many as a million people might show up to the D.C. area on Saturday, tweeting: “Many people are saying one million Americans expected in Washington, DC on Saturday to protest outside the White House. Retweet if you are excited! Very nice weather!”
White House ready
Over the past week, since the death of Geroge Floyd, the Washington D.C. area has been a magnet for protests, and at times, looting, vandalism, and violence. Various law enforcement agencies worked to get the situation under control.
Reports indicate that, following President Donald Trump’s Monday appearance at St. John’s Episcopal Church — the one that rioters set on fire — workers could be seen erecting additional fencing around the White House.
A Secret Service spokesman called it a “necessary security measure,” adding that “these closures are in an effort to maintain the necessary security measures surrounding the White House complex, while also allowing for peaceful demonstrations,” said a spokesperson for the Secret Service.
Otherwise, the White House has kept quiet about the various security measures in place, with presidential spokesperson Judd Deere saying, “The White House does not comment on security protocols and decisions.”