After the acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman, urged congressmen to build a permanent fence around the Capitol, and increase law enforcement presence, a great debate arose, including indignation and sadness from citizens.
One Twitter user, Matt Stoller, thought the measure is outrageous, according to one of his tweets on Jan. 28.
This is outrageous. https://t.co/syOoqbHo2G
— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) January 28, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, “The enemy is within” the House, and that is why more funds will be needed for security.
“It means we have members of Congress who want to bring guns to the floor and who have threatened violence against other members of Congress,” Pelosi expanded, which would not justify a permanent wall.
However, the Department of Homeland Security did not cite specific threats in its bulletin, issued on Jan. 27, but said that some “domestic violent extremists” may be emboldened by the unrest on Capitol Hill, according to Reuters.
As an additional security measure, a metal detector was installed, which also outraged some lawmakers, Reuters reported.
The current 8-foot fence was installed to prevent some sort of undetermined attack prior to Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, and more than 20,000 National Guardsmen were called in.
Several thousand of them will remain until March, raising questions from some legislators, who asked for explanations for what would be an overreach of the rules by which the Guardsmen are called up.
Journalist Kasie Hunt also weighed in on the controversy and considered that with the permanent fence much is lost symbolically, according to a series of tweets on Jan. 28.
“Right now, the Capitol complex is designed to be accessible to Americans. There is a lawn in the front where local parents take their children to go sledding. The trails around the building and across the green spaces are popular with runners,” Hunt wrote.
Right now, the Capitol complex is designed to be accessible to Americans. There is a lawn in the front where local parents take their children to go sledding. The trails around the building and across the green spaces are popular with runners. (2/)
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) January 28, 2021
She described other options for citizens to enjoy the surroundings of the facility, including their right to go to the offices to lobby for better compliance with the Constitution.
There have even been protests inside courtrooms, staged by people who entered legally, even if they had been detained inside.
“But even just a fence around the Capitol itself would dramatically change the democratic character of the building, the nature of the surrounding neighborhood and, really, send a stark message to the world about American democracy,” Hunt added.
That message would be threatening, and even more so if the barbed wire is left on top, Hunt said.
For another user, the barriers around the Capitol are very sad.
“I was hoping that one of the first symbolic actions of the Biden administration would be removal of the barriers. Sad indeed,” tweeted user @Terri9365.
I was hoping that one of the first symbolic actions of the Biden administration would be removal of the barriers. Sad indeed.
— Terri Graham (@Terri9365) January 28, 2021
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) commented that he met with former President Donald Trump to plan a winning strategy for the 2022 elections.
“For the good of our country, the radical Democratic agenda must be stopped,” McCarthy said, after announcing, “United and ready to win in ’22,” thus summarizing the objective of the meeting that took place at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s headquarters in Palm Beach, Florida.