National Guard deploys & DC tightens restrictions ahead of Inauguration Day

Image+via+KTLA

Image via KTLA

Helen Ehrlich, Editor-In-Chief

After insurrectionists overtook the US Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 (read more here), Virginia deployed over 200 National Guard troops to the District to provide support. Now 15,000 troops from around the nation are also being sent into Washington DC to provide additional aid to officers and troops in the District.

 

As the House moved to impeach President Trump for a historic second time, the National Guard slept on and swarmed the floor. The guards were there to protect lawmakers during proceedings and in anticipation for the inauguration.

 

Chief of the National Guard Bureau, Army General Hokanson requested additional troops and materials in preparation. Investigations remain ongoing as to the participation of guard members in the insurrection attempt. So far there have been no members identified. The F.B.I is also on high alert and able to act with more freedom, after the departure of the Capitol Hill Police Chief who denied their assistance numerous times ahead of the riot.

 

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 13: Members of the National Guard sleep in the halls of Capitol Hill…(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Metro Police, Capitol Hill Police, the F.BI., Homeland Security and National Park security have all been notified and placed on high alert. The Secret Service, in particular, is increasing measures taken. President-Elect Joe Biden, who famously frequents Amtrak railways, is not permitted to attend the inauguration by train due to the heightened security threats. 

 

COVID restrictions are now being tightened for security reasons. New fences have been installed, which are supposed to be unscalable. Only authorized members of the new and departing administrations, and 1,000 guests will be in attendance. Each member Congress’s 535 members will be permitted to bring one guest, which greatly limits the crowd in comparison to the typical 200,000-person crowds. There will be no Pennsylvania Avenue parade, but there will be a national “virtual parade.” The National Mall is also closed to visitors

New Caney woman charged with 2 counts of assault in D.C. for incident  before Capitol riot - ABC13 Houston
Image via ABC13 Houston/AP

Companies are also taking new measures. Airbnb and HotelTonight have cancelled all DC area reservations for the week of the inauguration. Delta Airlines has already banned checked firearms coming into DC.

 

There were already expectations of additional security forces being present at the inauguration, but after the mass violence seen in the Capitol Building, officials are being more diligent. 

 

The intention is that this additional force will not only dissuade further attempts at violence, but that they will better protect DC and Virginia.