DC shut down Proud Boys — 'We will not allow people to incite violence'

D.C. shutting down Proud Boys — ‘We will not allow people to incite violence’

Enrique Tarrio standing in a crowd

Flickr / Anthony Crider

Enrique Tarrio is an unlikely chairman. The 36-year old wears black tank tops to show off his bulging muscles and is often seen behind reflective wrap-around shades. He was arrested in Washington D.C last night charged with the destruction of property and the unlawful possession of firearms magazines.

Enrique Tarrio is the leader of the Proud Boys.

Washington D.C prepares for unrest

People walk near the Washington Monument during a day of extreme heat in Washington.

Flickr / Pedro Szekely

Washington D.C is bracing itself for an influx of protestors as Trump supporters descend on the city ahead of Congress certifying Biden’s victory in the electoral college vote on Wednesday. Donald Trump has stirred up his base by calling the election a “steal,” and most recently was recorded asking the GA secretary of state to “find 11,780 votes.”

To date, the President has lost every case alleging fraud and some of his legal claims have been thrown out of court for lack of evidence.

Groups like the Proud Boys do not care, however. Many Americans continue to back the baseless claim that Donald Trump rightfully won the November 3 election and are planning a mega “Stop the Steal” rally in the nation’s capital this Tuesday and Wednesday.

National Guard deployed throughout the city in preparation for the protests

A photograph of National Guard troops blocking access to the Lincoln Memorial.

Screenshot / Twitter

The city’s residents, fearful of protests turning ugly, have boarded up businesses. The National Guard has already been deployed in anticipation of clashes between groups such as the Proud Boys and counter-protestors.

The President himself plans to attend the protests, tweeting “I will be there.” He also shared a video promoting the March for Trump which claims it will be the “biggest event in Washington D.C history.” The neo-fascist and male-only group the Proud Boys (who describe themselves as “western Chauvinists”) are rumored to be attending protests by other groups in disguise.

Will Trump unleash the Proud Boys?

Person holding a Trump flag riding through Portland

Screenshot / YouTube

During the second presidential debate, Trump told the Proud Boys to “stand back and standby.” Critics alleged the President was inciting the group to future violence in support of his contested election cause.

The Proud Boys have been known to beat up protestors, engage in street fights, and their leader Tarrio was arrested for burning a Black Lives Matter banner which was taken from a historic church in Washington D.C. The F.B.I has described the Proud Boys as an “extremist group.”

Washington D.C will be heavily policed for the next two days as government officials fear tensions will be high. About 340 National Guard will patrol the city, while Customs and Border Protection are placing agents on standby to guard federal property. Washington Police have warned they will arrest people carrying firearms, and the city Mayor Muriel Bowser said: “We will not allow people to incite violence or intimidate our residents.”

A U.S defense official has stated there will be no active-duty military troops in the city. This was likely concerning Trump’s call during the June protests for the U.S. army to be drafted in to quell the violence.

Will the President invoke the Insurrection Act?

Trump speaking into a microphone

Screenshot / YouTube

Critics fear the President could use any violence to justify invoking the Insurrection Act, which would enable him to bring in the military. All 10 former U.S. Secretaries of defense still alive today, including Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfield, have cautioned against the use of the military to settle an election dispute. All ten men cosigned an open letter published by the Washington Post, in which they warned:

The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the Electoral College votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived.

The secretaries which include both Democrat and Republican Pentagon Officials agree that “Efforts to involve the US armed forces in resolving election disputes would take us into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory.”

The letter cited acting Secretary of Defense, Christopher C. Miller, who stated in October that “there is no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of a U.S. election.” Pentagon officials fear any violent clashes could be the pretext for sending in active troops and supporting a White House narrative enabling Donald Trump’s hold on power. In preparation for this, they have been keeping track of nightly episodes of civil unrest across the nation, to counter any claim that local law enforcement cannot handle the turmoil.

Biden Team continue to face ‘roadblocks’

Joe Biden speaking at an event

Flickr / Gage Skidmore

President-elect Joe Biden is due to be sworn into the White House on January 20th. The Biden transition team has faced many “roadblocks” in accessing intelligence and resources. As regards the Washington D.C protests, the Biden team stated they have not been given access to the Defense Department.

America will not be at rest until the inauguration of President Biden into the White House, and the road ahead is paved with uncertainty.

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