Saturday, September 23, 2023

Washington mayor calls for ban on public gatherings

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Washington DC’s Democratic mayor has called on federal officials to deny permits for public gatherings until after Joe Biden’s presidential nomination as the capital tightens security amid fears of further violence after last week’s rampage .

Hundreds of Trump supporters have overtaken law enforcement to storm the Capitol building Last Wednesday, leading the deaths of five people and interrupting the certification of US election results by senators.

In a Monday morning press conference, Muriel Bowser said she had asked the Home Office to deny all permits for public gatherings until January 24, four days after Mr Biden was inaugurated.

The National Park Service, which oversees the management of the National Mall – a strip of park that runs from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial – said it would temporarily close access to the Washington Monument due to continued threats from groups involved in the riots at the Capitol.

He added that he would also temporarily close some roads and parking areas. Although all closures are currently scheduled to end on January 24, the park service said it will extend them if necessary.

Ms Bowser said she wrote to the president asking him to declare Washington to be in a state of ‘pre-emergency disaster’ so the city can prepare a more effective security plan for Mr Biden’s inauguration. next week.

“This is necessary because the inauguration poses several unprecedented challenges that are beyond the scope of our traditional planning processes,” Ms. Bowser said, referring to the recent attack on the Capitol building and the continued prevalence of Covid-19.

In an interview with the Washington Post on Monday, Steven Sund, the going out The Capitol Police chief said the delays and officials’ refusal to grant him quick National Guard assistance helped his forces quickly overwhelmed the pro-Trump mob.

General Daniel Hokanson, the National Guard’s top-ranking officer, told reporters on Monday that 10,000 National Guard members would be on hand for the inauguration, with clearance for up to 15,000 if necessary.

The Pentagon has drawn criticism for its late response to last week’s attack on the Capitol. National Guard forces arrived at the scene Wednesday evening, nearly four hours after Mr. Sund made an emergency call for help. The National Guard has so far sent 6,200 people to the capital following the attack.

Authorities continued to announce arrests over last week’s violence, Michael Sherwin, the District of Columbia’s acting US attorney, telling NPR radio station over the weekend that “hundreds” of people could ultimately face charges for the assault on Capitol Hill.

Many of those arrested facing federal charges are said to have illegally carried weapons ranging from handguns to homemade Molotov cocktails.

On Monday, Ms Bowser said she requested that federal forces develop a security plan for all federal property and that she asked the Department of Justice and the FBI to provide daily intelligence on the intelligence.

Additional reporting by Katrina Manson in Washington

Marsh Notes

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