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Fencing, watchtower installed on Capitol grounds ahead of Saturday rally

Ahead of Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally planned at the US Capitol building, workers are installing fencing to deter violent protests similar to the Capitol Riots.

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Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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Ahead of Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally planned at the US Capitol building, workers are installing fencing to deter violent protests similar to the Capitol Riots of January 6.

The fencing was installed overnight and appeared to be the same fencing previously used around the Capitol that came down in early July.

Now, the fencing features a motion-tracking watchtower by the east face of the Capitol building, facing down East Capitol Street NE in Washington DC.

US Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said the newest fencing installation could "come down very soon after" the rally if things go as planned.

According to USA Today, the Department of Homeland Security projected around 700 people would attend Saturday's rally, marking a smaller crowd than the incident on January 6.

Congressional leaders were briefed on Monday in preparation for the event Saturday regarding security precautions.

"While they didn't go into detail about the preparations, the leaders said more was being done than for Jan. 6," wrote USA Today.

US Capitol Police erected another chain-link fence around the building, beginning Wednesday, to limit access to the historic building.

Police installed a fence topped with razor wire around the campus after the January 6 riot to protect against another potential mob for US President Joe Biden's inauguration January 20.

Thousands of people swarmed the building after knocking over waist-high racks Capitol police used for crowd control. Police were quickly overwhelmed by the mob and hundreds of people were able to get into the building after participants broke through doors and windows.

Five people died from the Capitol "insurrection."

During the Capitol Riots, National Guard reinforcements took hours to respond to the scene, said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby Wednesday. He added that Capitol police have requested "some assistance" for the rally.

"My understanding is that it is not an exorbitant ask," said Kirby. "It's not particularly large or major capability. I think it’s more in the form of some workforce support."

"I think they're ready for whatever might happen," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said after the briefing. "I believe that they are well prepared, thorough, professional, and I think they are better prepared than people were before Jan. 6."

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