Law enforcement is preparing for a “week of siege” from Trump supporters and far-right extremist groups, ABC News reports. Authorities are currently tracking up to 10 demonstrations that are expected occur in Washington, D.C. in the days leading up to President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
According to ABC, federal authorities are paying close attention to an event organized by the Proud Boys, who seek to “capture and detain” Democratic politicians. Social media posts by the far-right group also say they want to set up a new government with Republican leaders and are willing to “fight to the death.”
Other pro-Trump organizers have posted that they want to convict congressional Democrats and pledged to use “extreme” and potentially “fatal” measures to reach their “goal of eliminating the Democrat ideology from America forever.” Authorities don’t believe that the groups will be able to rally the 15,000 participants they’re hoping for, but are still wary that the demonstrations could pose a serious threat to Democratic lawmakers.
Law enforcement is also aware of pro-Trump events “Let America Hear Us, Roar for Trump” and “March for Trump,” which are both scheduled for days before the inauguration. Others still are also seeking to surround the White House and U.S. Capitol to “stop the steal,” which refers to the false and Trump-endorsed belief that the 2020 presidential election was rigged.
Officers are also reportedly concerned that rioters may feel emboldened by their breach of the Capitol last week. Other groups, they say, might have plans to “avenge the death of Ashli Babbitt” — a Trump supporter who was killed by Capitol Police during the insurrection.
A website affiliated with the far-right extremist Boogaloo movement is also promoting “the largest armed protest to ever take place on American soil” within the next week.
To prevent pro-Trump violence, many of the proposed venues for these demonstrations have already been locked down and will not be accessible to the public. Up to 15,000 National Guard members will also be deployed in the city ahead of the inauguration.
Authorities found many social media posts from Trump supporters and far-right groups calling the 2020 election results “treasonous and illegitimate” and saying that anyone who stands in their way will be “treated as an enemy combatant.” For months, Trump has claimed that he actually won the election and encouraged his supporters to fight against the election results. On Tuesday (Jan. 13), he was impeached by the House of Representatives for inciting last week’s insurrection with those false claims.