About 700 people expected for ‘J6’ rally, DHS official says

Source: The Hill | September 14, 2021 | Mychael Schnell

Roughly 700 people are expected to attend the “Justice for J6” rally on Saturday, according to an official at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Pro-Trump protesters have plans to travel to Washington, D.C., this weekend to attend the rally, which is being held in support of people who were charged with crimes related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, according to NBC News.

DHS expects that a number of demonstrators connected to the groups that stormed the Capitol will return for Saturday’s event.

The department, however, says that the expected crowd will likely be far less than the thousands of protesters who flocked to the nation’s capital at the beginning of the year.

Melissa Smislova, the deputy undersecretary for intelligence enterprise readiness at DHS, said during Tuesday’s Homeland Security Enterprise Forum that the department has been tracking publicly available information on protesters, permit applications for large gatherings with the U.S. Park Police and hotel reservations to gauge how many protesters are expected to attend the rally, according to NBC News.

Smislova also said that DHS has learned through social media posts that similar demonstrations are set to take place in other cities throughout the country, according to NBC.

Law enforcement agencies have been increasingly vigilant in preparing for Saturday’s rally, hoping to avoid the conditions that allowed the riot to happen on Jan. 6.

Smislova said the department has been more proactive when it comes to sharing intelligence with law enforcement in advance of potentially violent events, something that she said the department was “a little bit lax” with before Jan. 6.


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