Common Dreams - September 2, 2021
Amid rising fears of the threat posed by the GOP's mobilization of out-and-out fascists and its intensifying assault on democracy, lawmakers and intelligence officials are voicing concerns about a September 18 U.S. Capitol rally that far-right extremists organized to demand "justice" for those facing charges over their role in the violent insurrection on January 6 of this year.
Citing unnamed people familiar with federal intelligence, the Associated Press reported Wednesday that "extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are planning to attend" the rally, which "comes as a jittery Washington has seen a series of troubling one-off incidents—including, most recently, a man who parked a pickup truck near the Library of Congress and said he had a bomb and detonator."
Law enforcement agencies that were unprepared for the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters insist they are ready for any violence that may break out at the September 18 rally, which organizers have dubbed "Justice for J6." More than 600 people have been charged in connection with the January 6 insurrection thus far, and law enforcement agencies are still searching for dozens of additional suspects—including the individual who planted pipe bombs around the Capitol building ahead of the January 6 attack.
Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger told AP that his department is "closely monitoring September 18 and we are planning accordingly."
"After January 6, we made department-wide changes to the way we gather and share intelligence internally and externally," said Manger. "I am confident the work we are doing now will make sure our officers have what they need to keep everyone safe."
As CNN reported last week, Democratic members of Congress are pointing to the upcoming rally to amplify "their warnings that far-right conspiracy theories, extremist online rhetoric, and the GOP's continued embrace of former President Donald Trump's lies about the 2020 election could lead to more politically motivated attacks that could impact Capitol Hill and beyond."
"You don't get an insurrection on January 6 and all threats of violence go away," said Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.). "In fact, the fear is that future planning will produce other violent acts."
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