Capitol Riot

DC Mayor Asks Feds to Cancel Demonstration Permits, Secure Inauguration

"It is the primary responsibility of the federal government to secure federal property in these situations," a letter from Mayor Muriel Bowser said

NBC Universal, Inc.

The mayor of Washington, D.C., asked federal officials to cancel permits for demonstrations and plan to protect federal property around Inauguration Day “given the new threats from insurgent acts of domestic terrorists.” 

Mayor Muriel Bowser asked Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf to cancel public gathering permits for the next two weeks, from Jan. 11 to Jan. 24. The request is “essential to demonstrating our collective resolve in ensuring the constitutional transfer of power and our nation’s capital,” Bowser wrote in a letter Saturday, days after a stunning riot inside the U.S. Capitol Building.

The original “national special security event” period was supposed to last only from Jan. 19 to Jan. 21. In response to the mayor’s ask for federal officials to extend the period, arguing that the extension would allow local and federal officials to better prepare for Inauguration Day, acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said he instructed the Secret Service to begin event operations on Jan. 13.

D.C. also urged DHS to get permission from Congress to include the Capitol and its grounds in the security perimeter. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser is asking that Washington, D.C., residents sign-up for the emergency alert system ahead of the upcoming inauguration. Text INAUG2021 to 888-777 for public safety and transportation alerts.

D.C. asked for a pre-disaster declaration, and urged DHS to coordinate with Congress, the Justice Department and the Supreme Court to plan to protect federal property so D.C. officers can focus on local, D.C. land. 

“Earlier this week, MPD officers acted heroically rushing to back up the United States Capitol Police to stop the assault on the U.S. Capitol,” she wrote. "Consistent with established protocols and practices, it is the primary responsibility of the federal government to secure federal property in these situations.” 

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser urged Americans on Monday not to travel to the capital for the inauguration next week due to the recent acts of domestic terrorism against the U.S. Capitol building as well as surging coronavirus numbers. The mayor also highlighted that she has asked President Donald Trump to preemptively declare a state of emergency in the city.

The permits issued or being processed by the National Mall include seven permits for crowds from two to 5,000 people. Two groups identify as pro-Trump or anti-inaugural.

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story. 

Contact Us