The Washington Monument will be closed until at least January 25 after the National Park Service (NPS) says it has received “credible threats” following the riot Wednesday inside the Capitol.
The NPS said some of the groups that coordinated the attack on the U.S. Capitol continue to threaten Washington, D.C., as Inauguration Day, January 20, approaches. The park service said other closures may follow, including roadways, restrooms, and other facilities on the National Mall and Memorial Park.
“Groups involved in the January 6, 2021 riots at the US Capitol continue to threaten to disrupt the 59th presidential inauguration on January 20, 2021. This includes the set up and execution of inaugural events, which occur in several park areas. In response, the National Park Service will suspend tours,” the Park Service wrote on its website.
“These temporary closures may be extended if the conditions persist. The National Park Service will reopen areas as it determines that the conditions of concern are no longer present,” said the NPS.
The closure comes as the FBI is warning that more protests are planned in D.C. An FBI law enforcement bulletin obtained by ABC News warns “armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the US Capitol from 17 January through 20 January.”
During a news conference on Monday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said she has asked for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to cancel or deny demonstration permits for Inauguration Day. Bowser sent a letter to Acting Secretary Chad Wolf on Sunday calling for enhanced security measures, she said.
“We believe strongly that the 59th Presidential Inauguration on January 20 will require a very different approach than previous inaugurations given the chaos, injury, and death experienced at the United States Capitol during the insurrection,” Bowser stated in a letter addressed to Acting Secretary Wolf.
Bowser is asking that DHS deny gathering permits, saying that doing so will be essential “… in ensuring the constitutional transfer of power and our nation’s capital in the days leading up to it.”
According to the ABC report, the FBI has received reports of an armed group planning to travel to D.C. on January 16. The group has reportedly warned that “if Congress attempts to remove Potus via the 25th Amendment, a huge uprising will occur.” The bulletin also says armed protests are being planned in all 50 state capitals, with protests at the U.S. Capitol reportedly planned from January 17 through January 20.
Last week, organizers announced that president-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural parade had been canceled to limit crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Usually, hundreds of thousands of people pack the Mall and line Pennsylvania Avenue for 16 blocks, all the way from the Capitol to the White House. The new president and vice president proceed in a motorcade along the broad boulevard and often step out of their limousines for a block or two to wave to those gathered.
But not this year. Gatherings are severely restricted in D.C., and after debate, Biden’s organizers decided to call the whole thing off. Instead, the inaugural committee is urging Americans not to travel to Washington for the event and is instead calling for smaller celebrations across the country.
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