In preparation for the pro-Trump rally this week, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser asked residents to not come downtown Tuesday or Wednesday and to not engage with demonstrators who are “seeking confrontation.”
Appearing on MSNBC Sunday, Bowser said she is making plans to protect public safety as Trump supporters gather to protest the election results.
“No one has a right to violate the law by bringing in a weapon, by destroying property or antagonizing other people,” Bowser said.
In Freedom Plaza, police posted signs declaring it a First Amendment activity area and saying no guns are allowed within 1,000 feet.
“You may not carry a concealed weapon, you may not carry a weapon at all,” Bowser continued.
The D.C. mayor received criticism over the summer for not imposing stricter rules when D.C. saw an increase in violent protests.
“I think when you look at some of the befuddling actions like right here in D.C.,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said this summer. “The Mayor of D.C. didn’t issue a curfew until 11 P.M. Well, guess what, at 10 P.M., you had St. John’s church burning. Several other cities had curfews at 4 P.M., at 5 P.M., at 6 P.M. Some of the actions are really not tough enough, as the President noted. Particularly with the Mayor here in D.C.”
President Donald Trump said he is planning on attending the demonstration in D.C. this week, calling it a “historic day.”
The chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, Phyllis Randall, has also warned residents to stay away from the “dangerous situation.”
“In the face of organizations that are more than willing — and in fact eager — to engage in violent acts, counterprotestors can only serve to inflame an already dangerous situation,” she said in a statement.
Bowser said she is setting up an emergency operations center, beginning Monday, for federal and local law enforcement to ensure the demonstrations stay peaceful.
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