A group of residents from the community of Capitol Hill have come together to launch a campaign to call for the removal of fences around the Capitol installed in the wake of the deadly January 6 insurrection.
The group opened a website dedicated to their cause and started a petition last month on Change.org, which has collected more than 30,000 signatures so far.
In reference to Acting US Capitol Police (USCP) Chief Yogananda Pittman’s call for making the current fences permanent, the petition says “This is simply unacceptable. Security failures of January 6 would not have been prevented with permanent fencing. In fact, walls and fences proved ineffective deterrents to the insurgents who stormed the Capitol that day.”
“Further, permanent fencing punishes not the domestic terrorists who engaged in the attack, nor the law enforcement entities who failed to adequately protect the Congress, nor do they change the systemic governance issues preventing DC from protecting itself.”
The group is organizing a demonstration for Saturday, March 13, at 10 am, at 2nd Street Southeast and East Capitol Street.
Organizers urge potential participants to bring their children and dogs to the event, as well as bikes, picnic blankets, snacks, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, balls, etc.
“The four miles of barbed wire fence around the Capitol complex have cut off our access to open spaces and essential roads through the city. These are areas where we play, relax, walk our dogs, enjoy the flowers, commute to work, and connect with friends. The roads are also critical routes for emergency personnel to reach us and keep us safe,” the group said.
In early February, DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced legislation to stop the fencing around the Capitol from becoming permanent.
Delegate Norton Introduces Bill to Prevent Capitol’s Permanent Fencing
Acting Capitol Police Chief Calls for Permanent Fencing Around Building