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article imageD.C. Mayor tells residents to stay away from Trump supporters

By Karen Graham     Jan 4, 2021 in Politics
D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said Sunday that she is calling in the National Guard to protect public safety when President Trump’s supporters descend on the District on Wednesday to protest the result of the presidential election.
In a statement released on Sunday, Bowser asked residents to avoid downtown D.C. on Tuesday and Wednesday when pro-President Trump protests are planned.
“I am asking Washingtonians and those who live in the region to stay out of the downtown area on Tuesday and Wednesday and not to engage with demonstrators who come to our city seeking confrontation, and we will do what we must to ensure all who attend remain peaceful,” she said in her statement.
CTV News Canada is reporting that a U.S. Defense Department official said Mayor Bowser put in a request on New Year's Eve to have National Guard members on the streets from January 5-7th, to help with the protests. To that end, about 340 National Guard members were activated on Monday.
The Defence Department spokesman said the National Guard members will be used for traffic control and other assistance but they will not be armed or wearing body armor.
During a press conference Monday, Mayor Bowser reiterated her request that residents stay away from the downtown area, and avoid confrontations with anyone who is "looking for a fight."
D.C.'s new Police Chief Robert Contee said Guard troops will also be used for some crowd management. "Some of our intelligence certainly suggests there will be increased crowd sizes," said Contee, adding, "There are people intent on coming to our city armed."
The Washington Post notes that President Trump has been encouraging his supporters to descend on Washington on January 6, the day when Congress meets in a joint session to certify the Electoral College votes that confirm President-elect Biden's victory.
In November and December, pro-Trump protesters, including far-right groups like the Proud Boys, and Oath Keepers, among others, descended on the Capital, and those protests ended in violence which was not condemned by the president.
There is a real concern from officials who monitor these far-right groups that Wednesday’s event could be more dangerous, as the groups have discussed ways to sneak guns into the District.
More about Washington dc, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Trump supporters, National guard, Biden victory certification
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