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Here’s everything we know about the right-wing rally in DC on September 18th

Here’s everything we know about the right-wing rally in DC on September 18th

But it is still unclear how many protesters are planning to attend. And the convention will take place on a Saturday, when both chambers of Congress will be on hiatus, meaning far fewer lawmakers or staff will be in the area.

The rally “Justice for J6” aims to support insurgents accused of the deadly Capitol riots on 6 January. Organizers say it is scheduled to start at noon ET on Saturday.

Who are the organizers?

The rally is planned by “Look Ahead America,” a nonprofit led by former Trump campaigner Matt Braynard. The group is “dedicated to standing up for patriotic Americans who have been forgotten by our government,” according to their website.

Baynard said in a recent interview with CNN, “This is a completely peaceful protest,” and that “we have told people that when they come, we will not see messages about the election, we will not see any message on T-shirts. and flags or signs of candidates or the like. “

Still, at least one Proud Boys leader has urged supporters from across the country to show up, though others online have advised against attending and warned that it could be a fake flag operation designed to capture supporters.

Meanwhile, “White Lives Matter” is announcing global demonstrations for September 18 and has supported the rebels on January 6 online, but it does not have a DC chapter.

What do law enforcement officials expect?

Law enforcement officials are preparing for potential clashes and riots during the rally, according to an internal Capitol Police memo reviewed by CNN.

The latest intelligence report on the incident notes that online talk in support of the rally began to rise after the officer who shot dead criminal Ashli ​​Babbitt revealed his identity in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt recently.

There has been a noticeable increase in violent rhetoric surrounding the event and heated discussions centered on Babbitt’s shooting on social media and discussion forums, according to the memo. The document warns that many individuals may also view September 18 as a “Justice for Ashli ​​Babbitt” meeting, which may give rise to concern, and it is not unreasonable to plan violent quarrels.

There have been further discussions about violence associated with the event, with an online chat suggesting violence against Jewish centers and liberal churches, while law enforcement is distracted that day.

About 500 people have indicated they plan to attend, though the note notes that previous events hosted by Look Ahead America had significantly lower attendance than expected and were peaceful.

What security steps will be in place?

The U.S. Capitol Police Department has approved the department’s request to temporarily reinstall fences around the Capitol ahead of the convention.

Fences had been erected around the Capitol after riots on January 6, but were eventually parried back and removed during the summer.

In addition, Capitol Police said in a statement Monday that its board had “issued an emergency statement that will take effect around the time of the demonstration and allow the department to deputize external law enforcement officials such as U.S. Capitol Police Special Officers.”

“We want to reassure everyone that these are temporary measures to ensure everyone’s safety,” Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said in the statement. “We are extremely grateful for the support we continue to receive from the community and our stakeholders in Congress as we carry out our critical mission.”

What do legislators say about security preparations?

After Manger briefed the top four congressional leaders on security preparations for the convention, House Speaking Nancy Pelosi told reporters that the planning “works much better.”

But Pelosi also noted that she “has nothing to compare it to because we were not briefed before,” referring to the January 6 uprising. “So it’s not like I can compare it to before, but … I’m sure we want ongoing communication,” she added after leaving the briefing.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer similarly said he believes the Capitol Police are “well prepared, thorough, professional, and I think they are better prepared than people were before January 6.”

CNN’s Melanie Zanona, Jessica Schneider and Whitney Wild contributed to this report.

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