This week security is heightened again on Capitol Hill in preparation for the potential for violence from right-wing extremist groups. QAnon, a baseless conspiracy theory, has been linked to a false belief that former President Donald Trump will be inaugurated on March 4.
As the community has grappled with the loss of public space, residents expressed excitement early Monday morning when it appeared razor wire was being removed from the top of the fence. However, an NBC reporter was the first to tweet that the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) told DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) that the current fencing is undergoing a replacement. The razor wire will return.
Fence update: The Architect of the Capitol’s office says the razor wire is NOT coming down. They are replacing the current fencing with different anti-climb fencing, and then the razor wire will go back up on the new fences once those are in place, per @EleanorNorton office. https://t.co/oFILgPT728
— Haley Talbot (@haleytalbotnbc) March 1, 2021
Acting Sergeant-at-Arms Timothy Blodgett sent a memo Tuesday afternoon stating that the US Capitol Police (USCP) will have an increased presence on Thurday. That was first reported by The Hill, which went on to note that National Guard Troops that have been at and around the Capitol Complex since January will remain in place. Blodgett said there was “no indication” that these extremist groups would be in Washington to protest or commit acts of violence on Thursday.
DC Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton has publicly voiced her concerns about the fencing on Twitter and said she plans to “get this fencing down.”
“We’re going to do it responsibly, we’re going to do it according to intelligence, but mark my word: we are going to do it,” Holmes Norton said Monday.
We cannot have the Capitol complex closed off from the people permanently. There are state-of-the-art ways to protect the complex without fencing, which makes the United States look like a totalitarian regime trying to keep its own people out. pic.twitter.com/N2Yg1D0mwa
— Eleanor #DCStatehood Holmes Norton (@EleanorNorton) March 1, 2021
Sarah Payne is a History and Neuroscience student at The University of Michigan interning with Capital Community News. She writes for and serves as an assistant news editor for Michigan’s student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. You can reach her at [email protected].