A planned rally at the Capitol next month dubbed ‘Justice For J6‘ has sparked security concerns and led the Metropolitan Police Department to activate the entire force and postpone previously scheduled vacation days, according to reporting by WUSA9.
An MPD spokesperson said that officers would have “an increased presence around the city where demonstrations will be taking place and will be prepared to make street closures for public safety.”
“In anticipation of First Amendment activities on Saturday, September 18, 2021, the Metropolitan Police Department will be fully prepared,” the spokesperson said. “As with all First Amendment demonstrations, MPD will be monitoring and assessing the activities and planning accordingly with our federal law enforcement partners.”
Matt Braynard is organizing the event. Braynard was the head of data for former President Donald Trump‘s 2016 campaign. He says the rally is in support of the more than 600 “political prisoners” who have been charged in connection with the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
At least five people died as a result of the attacks, and four officers who helped to defend the Capitol have since committed suicide.
In announcing the rally on Steve Bannon‘s podcast last month, Braynard said, “We’re going back to the Capitol, right where it started. And it’s going to be huge. We’re going to push back on the phony narrative that there was an insurrection.”
“As we continue to raise the profile of these individuals, it makes it harder and harder for the left’s phony narrative about an insurrection to stick,” Braynard said. “What’s going to define [the rally] is where it’s going to take place: we’re going back to the Capitol.”
The rally is being promoted on numerous right-wing sites and is expected to draw thousands of people.
The National Parks Service, which typically issues permits for gatherings on federal land, says since the rally is on Capitol grounds, the permit would have come through the Capitol Police.
Braynard says he has a permit, and he told HuffPost that the rally is only in support of “nonviolent” Capitol protesters.