The unclimbable, barbed wire barricades, along with tens of thousands of National Guard troops stationed in Washington, D.C., have made the nation’s capital city look more like a warzone than the seat of democracy in recent days.
The fencing and troops were added ahead of President Biden’s inauguration Wednesday – a day that always has heightened security every four years – to stave off the possibility of further violence following the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Riot fencing and razor wire reinforce the security zone on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president on Wednesday. (Associated Press)
Once the inauguration celebration at the Lincoln Memorial was finished Wednesday evening, however, crews began to immediately remove the fencing.
Washington, D.C., Deputy Mayor John. J. Falcicchio tweeted Wednesday afternoon that crews would remove the fencing from east to west and would start unblocking park garages at 6 p.m. ET “in earnest.”
“This will take some time,” he said. “Give crews time/space to work safely.”
He said the removal would take around 36 hours.
D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser late Wednesday thanked the city’s businesses and residents for enduring “earlier street closures & more intense security than Inaugurations past.”
Because of the pandemic and security precautions, inaugural festivities were mostly virtual — inaugural balls scrapped and the star-studded “Celebrating America” made for TV viewing — and Americans were asked to avoid the capital and watch everything from home.
The Secret Service, which is in charge of inaugural security, made at least three arrests Wednesday – two for unregistered ammunition and another for possession of a BB gun, according to a Bloomberg News reporter. Weapons of any kind were prohibited during the inauguration.