The White House is taking no chances for Election Day as crews will begin constructing a ‘non-scalable’ fence to secure the Executive Mansion, the Ellipse, and Lafayette Square, it has been reported.
The potential for unrest has also prompted Metro Police in Washington, DC, to put 250 National Guardsmen on standby, according to Geoff Bennett of NBC News.
Cities across the nation have boarded up shops, storefronts, office buildings, restaurants, hotels, and other properties in anticipation of possible violence related to Tuesday’s presidential election.
The reported plans to further fortify the White House indicates the level of concern among law enforcement officials.
The image above shows the White House at dawn on Sunday morning. Crew will reportedly begin constructing a ‘non-scalable fence’ to ring the complex beginning on Monday
The beefed up security comes as the nation anticipates possible unrest ahead of Election Day on Tuesday. President Trump is seen above in Rome, Georgia, on Sunday
In June, it was reported that President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and their son, Barron, were rushed to a secure, underground bunker in the White House after Black Lives Matter protesters breached one of the barricades set up outside the complex.
Hundreds of demonstrators had gathered outside of the White House in the days and weeks following the May 25 police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The massive crowds prompted authorities to erect a massive, iron fence around the perimeter of the White House.
On June 1, members of the National Park Service’s U.S. Park Police and other security forces lobbed chemical agents and punched and clubbed demonstrators and journalists in clearing Lafayette Square near the White House, just before crews raised the new fence.
Trump administration officials have denied federal forces at the time of the forceful removal of crowds were making way for the president to stage photos nearby.
Lafayette Square has historically been one of the country’s most prominent spots for demonstrations and other public advocacy.
The area around the White House is already fenced off in the wake of massive protests that erupted earlier this year following the May 25 police-involved death of George Floyd. The image above shows the White House behind two fences on Sunday
Also closed off by yards of new fencing is the Ellipse, an 52-acre park behind the White House, which features several monuments and is part of President’s Park.
The Ellipse is a public space and often referred to as ‘the Nation’s front yard.’
The nation’s capital, like cities throughout the country, are on edge as Election Day approaches.
Downtown businesses are already boarding up their windows in anticipation, and Police Chief Peter Newsham promised on Thursday that his entire department would be working on Election Day.
In Washington, dozens of overlapping law enforcement agencies control certain landmarks and public spaces.
Police officials have restricted the days officers can take off around the election and have spent tens of thousands of dollars on chemical irritants and other less-than-lethal riot-control munitions after much of the agency’s stockpile was depleted this summer.
A man walks by a boarded up building in Washington, DC, on Friday as stores, businesses, and offices prepare for possible election-related unrest
Workers are seen above boarding up businesses near the White House in Washington, DC, on Sunday
The nation’s capital will be a focal point of attention this week as activist groups like Black Lives Matter plan demonstrations in the city
Several buildings near the White House are seen above after they were boarded up over the weekend
Workers install plywood onto the facade of an office building near the White House in Washington, DC, on Sunday
Mayor Muriel Bowser said she had not decided whether to use National Guard troops for election-related violence, though some troops still remain activated amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Newsham said there were no ‘credible threats right now of violence,’ but said a number of groups had applied for permits to conduct large demonstrations.
‘We ask people if they’re going to come, we welcome people to come here to the District of Columbia to exercise their First Amendment rights, but we are not going to tolerate violence or unrest,’ he said.
Demonstrators are gearing up for potential violence, especially after June, when Trump used federal law enforcement to clear the plaza outside the White House that had been filled with peaceful protesters.
Meanwhile, activists in the nation’s capital are banding together for Election Day, pooling resources, running training sessions for demonstrators, forming rapid-reaction teams and organizing events that are expected to draw large crowds.
A collection of groups led by Black Lives Matter and Shutdown DC plan an eight-hour event at Black Lives Matter Plaza, one block from the White House.
It will include a giant screen showing election results, DJs and performances by bands playing Washington’s signature go-go music.