On Monday (Nov. 2), federal authorities erected a “non-scalable” fence around the White House in preparation of potential protests and unrest following tomorrow’s (Nov. 3) election.
“The White House on lockdown,” tweeted NBC News White House correspondent Geoff Bennett on Sunday (Nov. 1). “A federal law enforcement source tells NBC that beginning tomorrow, crews will build a ‘non-scalable’ fence to secure the [White House] complex, Ellipse and Lafayette Square. Two hundred and fifty national guardsmen have been put on standby, reporting to metro police officials.”
The fence is also known as an “anti-climb” fence because it is made from a welded wire mesh that’s so tightly intertwined it’s impossible to get your foot through. It is also very difficult to cut.
A similar fence was put up around the White House back in June after protests erupted throughout the country following the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and many other Black men and women.
Last week, District of Columbia Police Chief Peter Newsham and Mayor Muriel Bowser and discussed what the city planned to do ahead of the election. They said that there were no “credible threats right now of violence,” but several groups did apply for permits to conduct large demonstrations. The entire police department will work on Election Day. “We welcome people to come to the District of Columbia to exercise their First Amendment right, but we won’t tolerate violence or unrest,” said Newsham.
“We also know that some people would like to cause mayhem or trouble. We don’t have any specific thing to report to you about that, but we will tell you that we are preparing to ensure the city’s safety,” Bowser said.
Preparations for possible unrest have extended beyond the White House. On Sunday, businesses such as restaurants, hair salons, clothing stores and banks boarded their buildings up. Several businesses are opting to close on Election Day — and possibly for the whole week.