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Tags: defense secretary austin | national guard | jan.6 | capitol

Defense Sec, Austin OKs 100 National Guard Troops If Needed at 'Justice for J6' Rally

Defense Sec, Austin OKs 100 National Guard Troops If Needed at 'Justice for J6' Rally
National Guard soldiers patrol with a Capitol Police officer past the Dirksen Senate Office Building with the American flag flying at half staff in honor of the Capitol Police officer that was killed in the line of duty earlier today on April 02, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Samuel Corum/Getty)

By    |   Friday, 17 September 2021 02:43 PM

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a Capitol Police request to provide 100 D.C. National Guard troops for Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C.

The National Guard troops will be available in case law enforcement requires additional support at the event, Axios reported Friday.

The "Justice for J6" rally was organized to show support for people arrested after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Capitol Police did not request backup from the National Guard on Jan. 6 until after the building had been breached -- a decision that led to intense criticism and the resignation of several agency leaders, Axios said.

National Guard troops will be stationed at the D.C. Armory and only will be deployed at the request of Capitol Police in order to protect the buildings, a Pentagon spokesperson said.

"Should the Capitol Police require assistance, they will first utilize local, state and Federal law enforcement capabilities before requesting the deployment of the Physical Security Task Force," the spokesperson said, Axios reported.

During a press briefing Friday, police officials said they had taken necessary steps to prevent violence.

"We have a strong plan in place to ensure that it remains peaceful and then if violence does occur, that we can stop it as quickly as possible," Capitol Police chief Tom Manger said.

"Our department has increased staffing today and is fully activated for [Saturday]," D.C. Metropolitan Police chief Robert Contee said. "So, you will notice an increased police presence around the city and this is to ensure everyone's safety and security throughout the district."

Rally organizers have projected rally attendees to number in the hundreds rather than the thousands.

The Department of Homeland Security has warned of the potential for more violence at the rally, though CNN reported no indications of a specific plot had emerged.

Temporary fencing around the Capitol is returning for the rally, which is being hosted by the nonprofit group Look Ahead America. Multiple congressional offices have also closed.

Group founder Matt Braynard tweeted a plea to rally attendees not to wear MAGA or political gear.

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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a Capitol Police request to provide 100 D.C. National Guard troops for Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C.
defense secretary austin, national guard, jan.6, capitol
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2021-43-17
Friday, 17 September 2021 02:43 PM
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