Here’s everything we know about the right-wing September 18 rally in Washington

But it’s still unclear how many protesters plan to attend. And the rally takes place on a Saturday, when both houses of Congress are on vacation, which means far fewer lawmakers or staff will be in the area.

The “Justice for J6” rally aims to support the insurgents indicted during the deadly riot of January 6 on the Capitol. Organizers say it is expected to start at noon ET on Saturday.

Who are the organizers?

The rally is being planned by “Look Ahead America”, a nonprofit organization run by former Trump campaign staff Matt Braynard. The group is “dedicated to defending American patriots who have been forgotten by our government,” according to their website.

Baynard said in a recent interview with CNN: “This is a completely peaceful protest” and that “we told the people that when they come we don’t want to see any messages about the elections, we don’t want to see any message on t-shirts and flags or signs on candidates or something like that. “

Still, at least one Proud Boys leader encouraged followers from across the country to show up, though others online have discouraged participation and warned that it could be a false flag operation designed to trap supporters.

Meanwhile, “White Lives Matter” advertises global protests for September 18 and has supported the January 6 insurgents online, but it does not have a DC chapter.

What are the police waiting for?

Law enforcement officials are bracing for potential clashes and unrest during the rally, according to an internal Capitol Police memo reviewed by CNN.

The latest intelligence report on the event notes that online discussions in support of the rally began to escalate after the officer who shot dead rioter Ashli ​​Babbitt made his identity public in a recent interview with NBC’s Lester Holt.

There was a noticeable increase in violent rhetoric around the event and heated discussions centered around the Babbitt shooting on social media and chat rooms, according to the note. The document warns that many people may also view September 18 as a “Justice for Ashli ​​Babbitt” rally, which could be of concern, and it is not unreasonable to plan violent altercations.

There have been further discussions of the violence associated with the event, with an online chat suggesting violence against Jewish centers and liberal churches as law enforcement is distracted that day.

About 500 people have indicated they plan to attend, although the memo says recent events hosted by Look Ahead America have had significantly less attendance than expected and were peaceful.

What security measures will be put in place?

The United States Capitol Police Board of Directors approved the department’s request to reinstall temporary fencing around the Capitol ahead of the rally.

Fences had been erected around the Capitol following the January 6 riot, but were eventually reduced and removed over the summer.

In addition, Capitol Police said in a statement Monday that its board of directors had “issued a declaration of emergency, which will come into effect at the time of the protest and allow the department to replace outside agents from the forces of the United Nations. ‘Order as Special Officers of the United States Capitol Police “.

“We want to reassure everyone that these are temporary measures to keep everyone safe,” Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said in the statement. “We are extremely grateful for the support we continue to receive from the local community and our Congress stakeholders as we carry out our critical mission.”

What are lawmakers saying about security preparations?

After Manger briefed the four top congressional leaders on security preparations for the rally, House Speaking Nancy Pelosi told reporters the planning “looks a lot better.”

But Pelosi also noted that she had “nothing to compare, as we had not been informed before,” referring to the January 6 insurgency. “So it’s not like I can compare it to before but… I’m sure we’ll have continuous communication,” she added after leaving the briefing.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also said he believed the Capitol Police were “well prepared, thorough, professional, and I think they are better prepared than people were before. January 6 “.

CNN’s Melanie Zanona, Jessica Schneider and Whitney Wild contributed to this report.


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