Washington, D.C.’s mayor urged calm Monday as some 340 National Guard troops were being activated while the city prepared for potentially violent protests surrounding Congress’ expected vote to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
According to a U.S. defense official, Mayor Muriel Bowser put in a request on New Year’s Eve to have Guard members on the streets from Jan. 5-7th, to help with the protests. The official said the D.C. National Guard members will be used for traffic control and other assistance but they will not be armed or wearing body armor. Congress is meeting this week to certify the Electoral College results, and President Donald Trump has refused to concede while whipping up support for protests.
During a press conference on Monday, Bowser asked that people stay away from downtown D.C., and avoid confrontations with anyone who is “looking for a fight.” But, she warned, “we will not allow people to incite violence, intimidate our residents or cause destruction in our city.”