DC deploys National Guard ahead of Trump protesters’ rally

TEHRAN, Jan. 05 (MNA) – The US capital has mobilized the National Guard ahead of planned protests by Donald Trump supporters in the lead-up to the congressional vote affirming Joe Biden’s election victory.

Trump’s supporters are planning to rally on Tuesday and Wednesday, seeking to bolster the president’s unproven claims of widespread voter fraud, the Guardian reported.

DC police have posted signs throughout downtown warning that carrying any sort of firearm is illegal and its acting police chief, Robert Contee, asked residents to warn authorities of anyone who might be armed. “There are people intent on coming to our city armed,” Contee said on Monday.

It comes as Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the violent far-right group the Proud Boys, was arrested in DC and charged with destruction of property – related to a previous pro-Trump protest – and a firearms offense.

Trump has repeatedly encouraged this week’s protests and hinted that he may get personally involved. Over the weekend, he retweeted a promotion for the rally with the message, “I will be there. Historic Day!”

The rallies are planned to coincide with the official congressional vote on Wednesday to certify the electoral college votes from the November presidential election and declare Biden the winner.

A newly-elected congresswoman raised the issue of firearms in the capital on Sunday, pledging to carry her handgun in Congress. Republican Lauren Boebert, from the town of Rifle, Colorado, was reminded by Contee that she would be “subjected to the same penalties as anyone else that’s caught on the DC streets carrying a firearm”.

As downtown DC businesses boarded up their windows, Mayor Muriel Bowser requested a limited National Guard deployment to help bolster the Metropolitan police department. During a press conference on Monday, Bowser asked that local residents stay away from downtown DC, and avoid confrontations with anyone who is “looking for a fight”. But, she warned, “We will not allow people to incite violence, intimidate our residents or cause destruction in our city.”

MNA/PR

News Code 168110

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