The pre-inauguration lockdown of DC is an overreaction
In January of 2017, the news outlet I was working for at the time asked me to go to downtown DC and cover the protests during President Trumps inauguration ceremony. #DisruptJ20, an activist group with ties to the violent left-wing group antifa, was planning bold mobilization and widespread civil resistance during the event. What I saw there was horrifying. Rioters dressed head-to-toe in black and wearing bandanas over their faces smashed storefronts, set fires, harassed and threatened Trump supporters and attacked police officers. I watched from about 10 yards away as one antifa member grabbed a metal pole off the ground and swung it at a cop, who responded by pepper-spraying the area. Over 200 people were arrested that day.
Yet the security put in place then was nothing compared to what DC has implemented for next weeks inauguration. In 2016, just five Metro stations were closed on Inauguration Day and major street closures did not occur until the day prior. Three thousand police officers and 5,000 members of the National Guard were brought in for extra security. Now, nearly a full week before Joe Bidens inauguration, 13 Metro stations are closed, police have blocked much of the downtown area from traffic, and up to 21,000 National Guard troops have been authorized for Inauguration Day. The National Mall will be closed to all pedestrians. In an even more extreme measure, Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia agreed to shut down four major bridges leading from his state into DC, starting the day before the inauguration.
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