WASHINGTON (7News) — Security changes take shape before the State of the Union address
Security changes are underway across the District ahead of Tuesday’s State of the Union address amid calls for protests from a convoy of truckers.
“Our Department’s mission to protect the United States Congress, the Capitol, and the legislative process remains unwavering,” said U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, and in conjunction with the United States Secret Service, a plan has been approved to put up the inner-perimeter fence around the Capitol building for the State of the Union Address.”
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It's not clear how long after the State of the Union address the fencing will remain, but Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton wants it to come down as soon as possible.
“I understand the security concerns related to the trucker convoy and the State of the Union address that led to the fencing being temporarily reinstalled around the Capitol,” she said in a statement. “However, I will ensure that the fencing comes down as soon as possible to restore freedom of movement for District of Columbia residents and the general public.”
Fencing, however, is not the only security change residents have noticed.
Several military vehicles have been stationed around different parts of the city.
“The military vehicle just recently posted maybe 2 or 3 days ago. That's the first time I saw that,” said Kenneth Young, a Navy Yard resident. “You can tell something's going on.”
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It comes as several truck convoys make their way to the District.
The People’s Convoy traveled from California and made a pit stop in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
One volunteer says the main goal is to protest mandates over COVID-19, but he’s also hoping to shed light on other issues truck drivers face on the road.
“Better rates, better places to stop. I hope that we can get the shippers and receivers online with it to understand that they’ve got a deadline and we’ve got a deadline too to get their product from where they’re wanting it to where it needs to be,” said George Robinson, Jr. “It shouldn’t be a forced issue, it should be something we voluntarily do. I understand it’s an issue it’s something we all need to watch for.”
In response to their actions, Manger said he’s requested support from outside law enforcement agencies and the National Guard just in case, all part of the plan to prevent any disruption to Congress’ work.
“It's good to know that they are being cautious and preventative and showing their presence just to make sure nothing escalates,” said Meghan Oakes, a Navy Yard resident.