Washington, Feb 28 (EFE).- In anticipation of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address later this week before Congress, police strengthened security measures in the area by installing a black metal fence around the US Capitol.
In a statement, Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said that he had also requested help from federal security forces and the National Guard.
“Out of an abundance of caution, and in conjunction with the United States Secret Service, a plan has been approved to put up the inner-perimeter fence around the Capitol building for the State of the Union Address,” Manger said in a statement.
The metallic barrier is similar to the one that for six months protected Congress after supporters of then-President Donald Trump assaulted the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, an attack in which five people died and about 140 police and security personnel were injured by the mob, some of them very seriously.
Manger said that the measures have been taken “as a precaution” for Biden’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday and because of the arrival in Washington in the coming days of a caravan of truckers who want to protest in the capital against measures adopted to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following the example of the mobilizations in Canada, several groups have gone online to organize a caravan of truckers dubbed the “People’s Convoy,” which departed on Feb. 23 from California with the aim of traversing the country, picking up like-minded demonstrators on the way, and arriving in Washington on the evening of March 5.
One of the groups wanted to arrive in the US capital for Biden’s speech, but that proposal gained little support – with only five trucks taking part in that mini-convoy – and finally the idea was dropped in favor of joining the rest of the convoy so that all would arrive together in Washington on Saturday, The New York Times reported.
The Pentagon approved the deployment in Washington of 700 unarmed members of the National Guard to help Capitol police with traffic control activities.
The State of the Union Address, which Biden will deliver starting at 9 pm on Tuesday, is one of the most important annual ceremonies in US politics.
According to tradition, the president appears before the members of both chambers of Congress gathered in the Capitol along with the Supreme Court justices, top military leaders and other invited guests to establish what the country’s priorities are for the coming year and to ask for cooperation from US lawmakers.