I want to ensure you have all of the information you need to keep yourselves, your families, and your neighbors safe during demonstrations planned in DC this week.
Yesterday, the Council of the District of Columbia, joined by Acting Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department Robert Contee, DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Director Chris Rodriguez, and DC Attorney General Karl Racine for a briefing on the first amendment activities being held in Ward 2, in the downtown area this week. A number of federal permits have been approved by the National Park Service including on Freedom Plaza, the Ellipse, and around the National Monument.
We expect hate groups, white supremacists, and members of militia groups will be in attendance and have stated their plans to sow division and cause chaos in our city. Please find information on street closures and parking restrictions below effective today, Tuesday, January 5, 2021- Wednesday, January 6, 2021.
I stand with District residents, my Council colleagues, and the entire District Government in condemning the actions of these white supremacists and hate and militia groups who are entering our ward and our city to sow hate and division, stoke fear, and undermine a free and fair election. We have seen the heinous acts committed by members of these groups in recent weeks, and their actions to demoralize places of worship and target innocent minorities based on race, ethnicity, or religious, sexual, or gender identity will not be tolerated.
I am also pleased to share that last night, one individual who claimed responsibility for vandalizing historic Black churches and burning Black Lives Matters banners during the December 12th demonstrations was arrested. This sends a strong signal from the District of Columbia that these acts will not be tolerated.
In a joint statement issued with my Council colleagues yesterday evening, I urge all District residents and visitors to avoid the downtown area and the areas where federal permits have been issued for these demonstrations to take place, if possible.
Downtown is home to thousands of residents, workers, and neighbors experiencing homelessness and we will be working diligently to protect Ward 2 from harm. I also join my colleagues in urging members of our local law enforcement to stand with and protect District residents from harm during this critical time.
You can view the DC Council’s statement, maps, and corresponding lists of street closures and restricted parking areas below.
Yours in Service,
THE DC COUNCIL’S STATEMENT ON THIS WEEK’S DEMONSTRATIONS IN THE DISTRICT
WASHINGTON, DC – The District of Columbia Council issued the following statement on Monday, January 4, 2020:
We urge people to avoid the downtown and federal areas where permits for events have been issued for January 5 and 6. In similar recent events, white supremacists and militia groups have created conflict and provoked violence, creating harm for individuals and to our institutions. We urge residents to recognize these are the voices of those who have already lost. Votes have been certified and the demonstrations this week will not change the outcome of this election. There is no gain for all people who desire peace in engaging with those who come here with malicious intent, and doing so only brings great risk.
The peaceful transfer of power following a free and fair election is a cornerstone of our democracy. Any efforts to disenfranchise voters and overturn the will of the electors is nothing short of betraying our very American democracy and should be strongly condemned by all.
The District of Columbia is no stranger to peaceful demonstrations and protecting individuals’ rights to exercise their First Amendment. In an unequivocal and unanimous voice, we also condemn hate and the actions witnessed against District residents, faith-based institutions, and the District’s core values in the past months – specifically actions to destroy symbols that proclaim that Black Lives Matter. This Council has time and again worked to strengthen our laws and all legal protections against hate. We stand ready to protect our residents.
We recognize that downtown is home to residents and businesses whose rights must be respected and protected as we work to keep all safe, including residents who are currently homeless. We call upon the Mayor’s Office, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and coordinating agencies to ensure this is a priority as events go forward this week. Further, we call on MPD and all law enforcement to ensure safety, prevent violence, and to do so with no appearance of preference or disparate treatment.
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The DC Metropolitan Police Department has released information regarding street closures and parking restrictions.