WASHINGTON - Black Lives Matter D.C. is calling on city leaders to shut down right-wing activists who are expected to flock to the nation’s capital this week in an effort to protest the 2020 elections results.
In addition, they’re asking "Black and brown people" in the area to avoid these rallies.
"We encourage Black and brown people to stay away from known areas where white extremists and militant gangs will gather on January 6 and, instead, use your voices and your powers as constituents and consumers to demand that the mayor, city council, police and businesses to stand up against white supremacy," organizer Marybeth Onyeukwu said in a statement.
City leaders – including Mayor Muriel Bowser – and leaders from surrounding jurisdictions are also asking would-be counter-protesters to remain home.
Congress is scheduled to count the 2020 Electoral College votes on Wednesday – but what is traditionally a largely procedural matter has become more contentious as President Trump continues to challenge President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Trump supporters are expected to march in D.C. – and if similar protests in recent months are any indicator, violent clashes are likely.
During a Dec. 13 protest in D.C., four people were stabbed and dozens were arrested as confrontations between right-wing activists, including the so-called Proud Boys, and their opponents erupted into violence.
In addition, multiple churches in the District were vandalized. In at least two cases, Black Lives Matter banners on traditionally Black churches were destroyed.
Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was arrested in D.C. on Monday, ahead of the planned protests. According to police, Tarrio helped destroy at least one of the banners.
Police say at the time of his arrest, Tarrio was found to be in possession of two high capacity firearm magazines. He has been additionally charged with Possession of High Capacity Feeding Device.