Weeks after Washington D.C. Black Lives Matter activists called out city leadership over their failure to stop the Proud Boys from rallying near the White House, the National Guard will be called in to support city police in ensuring “safety” as the white supremacist group intends on protesting against the election results on Wednesday.
The Proud Boys’ intention to descend onto the nation’s capital is ratified by Trump and a handful of Congress members who voiced they will openly object the Electoral College Vote. Jan. 6, the date of the rally, marks when Congress will meet to certify the electoral college results. Proud Boys group members have warned they will wear black in an effort to go “incognito” and blend in with counter-protests.
According to USA Today, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is considering mandating a curfew, while business owners have begun boarding up their properties in anticipation. Police have also issued warning signs banning openly carrying weapons, which is already against the law in the District of Columbia.
Deferring to the National Guard and preparing for the rally’s intended chaos and violence is a stark difference from the Dec. 12 protest where Black Lives Matter leaders say they witnessed Proud Boys members harass and threaten anti-protesters without much interference from police.
“If Black people and people of color was to act like this, they would have done what they’ve been doing since [the] George Floyd protests started,” said Ne Ne Taylor, a co-organizer with Black Lives Matter DC, in an interview with local news outlet WTOP. “Tear gassing us, beating us and arresting us. That happened to none of the Proud Boys. The police was around and they done nothing to the white supremacists.”
The Dec. 12 march where Proud Boys gathered along with white militia members and other extremist groups resulted in violence and the defacing of several sacred properties, including the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church and Asbury United Methodist Church, two historic Black churches in the greater Washington, D.C., area.
On Monday, Proud Boys Leader Enrique Tarrio was arrested in connection with burning a Black Lives Matter sign torn ff of one f the churches. Tarrio was released on Tuesday after a judge barred him from being in D.C.
During a Jan. 4 call to discuss a newly filed lawsuit against the proud boys Metropolitan A.M.E. Pastor William H. Lamar IV said that he was in discussion with the mayor and other local officials who ensured measures would be taken to protect the church.
“They have ensured us the will do whatever is in their power to keep our properties and people who may be at the church safe. So that is a conversation that we have had,” he said.