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Authorities Prepare For Possible Disruptions At Biden Address

Federal and local authorities are preparing for possible demonstrations and disruptions ahead of President Biden’s first State of the Union address at the Capitol on Tuesday night, the Washington Post reports. In addition to possible protests before or during the president’s address to Congress, people inspired by the self-styled “Freedom Convoy” that occupied downtown Ottawa for weeks are expected to converge in the Washington, D.C., region to decry coronavirus-related restrictions. Many may not arrive until later this week.

Heightened security measures were evident over the weekend when officials encircled the Capitol complex with temporary fencing like that istalled after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.

The D.C. National Guard has been called upon for assistance, and on Monday busloads of about 100 police officers from New York City arrived to help. Police from Philadelphia are also in the District, and Baltimore officers are on standby. D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said that lawful First Amendment demonstrations would be welcome, but police would take action in the event of illegal activity. The possibility of caravans of truckers heading to the District has added to the security concerns, drawing in police agencies from Maryland and Virginia to monitor the Beltway. The heightened security measures are precautionary, Contee said. The Secret Service is the lead agency overseeing security preparations for the State of the Union, classified as a National Special Security Event, which allows for intensified public safety measures.


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