D.C. mayor requests cancellation of demonstration permits due to threats

Muriel Bowser publicized her request to discourage potentially deadly rightwing gatherings in the nation's capital next week.

Muriel Bowser, the mayor of the District of Columbia, has asked the Department of Homeland Security to cancel permits for demonstrations in the district “given the new threats from insurgent acts of domestic terrorists.” 

Posted on the mayor’s office website, Bowser addressed the letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (above) has asked Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to cancel permits for demonstrations in the nation’s capital “given the new threats from insurgent acts of domestic terrorists.” (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“Following the unprecedented terrorist attack on the United States Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, and the continued threat of related violence in the District of Columbia, we are extremely concerned about the upcoming National Special Security Event (NSSE) led by the United States Secret Service,” she writes. “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.” 

The mayor asks Wolf to extend the National Special Security Event designation, making it Jan. 11 to Jan. 24 instead of the current Jan. 19 to Jan. 21 time period. This designation would allow the District to access additional federal funds and military support. 

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Additionally, Bowser is asking Wolf for a “pre-disaster declaration.” The declaration would “enhance and expedite direct federal assistance.” 

Bowser also requests that the Secretary of the Department of the Interior cancel “any and all Public Gathering Permits in the District of Columbia and deny any applications for” such permits during the Jan. 11 to Jan. 24 period. 

In the statement, Bowser noted that her requests are “essential to demonstrating our collective resolve in ensuring the Constitutional transition of power and our nation’s capital in the days leading up to it.” 

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She publicized her request via Twitter in hopes of discouraging more potentially deadly rightwing gatherings during the inauguration. 

In addition to their mayor’s efforts, D.C. residents are also taking action. The hashtag #DontRentDC is discouraging landlords from renting their properties through services like Airbnb and Vrbo during the inauguration to further dissuade potentially violent supporters of departing President Donald Trump from coming to the city. 

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