By Christopher Berg and Sandy Malone
Washington, DC – An estimated 400-450 people, including counter-protesters and journalists, showed up to the “Justice For J6” rally in Washington D.C. Saturday, according to U.S. Capitol Police.
The rally to support the suspects charged in the January 6 Capitol Riot comes after law enforcement had prepared for a full-on attack on the Capitol during the permitted event.
Hundreds of officers from multiple law enforcement agencies provided security during the event, roads in the area were blocked off, a fence was erected around the Capitol complex, and the National Guard had been called to standby to assist.
“We have received a request from Capitol Police for some assistance for this weekend’s protests, scheduled protests. I’m not going to detail the specific request,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby confirmed on Wednesday, according to CNN.
“We’re doing the analysis, we are in receipt of it, we’re analyzing it, and if it can be validated and supported, we’ll do that and we’ll look at the sourcing inside the department as to what’s most appropriate,” Kirby said.
On Monday when Chief Stanger announced they would be re-erecting the controversial fence around the Capitol, he also said he had been in touch with military ahead of the protest.
“We have talked to the military and we have multiple agencies assisting. We cannot provide specifics as we do not want to give away security sensitive info,” USCP told CNN in a statement.
Law enforcement officials have promised lawmakers there will not be another breach of the U.S. Capitol building.
However, there had been little evidence that the event would be widely attended.
Last week, Democratic leadership sounded the alarm about their concerns that the event would be attended by both Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, MSNBC reported.
However, the Proud Boys had denied that they planned to have any presence, according to Newsweek.
The Oath Keepers have largely decentralized leadership and have not been known for attending any event with more than a handful of people.
Leading up to the rally, right wing extremist circles appeared to offer little promotion of the event, with the event being promoted mostly by the mainstream media who reported fears that the rally would be worse than the Capitol Riot.
But when the rally actually started on Saturday, it became clear that fears about the event were overblown.
Here are a few more pictures of the 7:15am swearing-in with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners. pic.twitter.com/8biG2D2dmb— U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) September 18, 2021
At the J6 rally on the Mall, protesters are outnumbered by reporters. Massive police presence: helicopter, police dogs, dump trucks lining 3rd St. The cost per protester would be interesting to work out. pic.twitter.com/YjXXTW4Cdi— Del Quentin Wilber (@DelWilber) September 18, 2021
He’s attending the rally to support the insurrectionists says no officers were assaulted, videos of the brutal assaults don’t exist. We showed him the videos, he said — well that’s the officers fault. Yea pretty ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/u2hTySg9jZ— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) September 18, 2021
Law enforcement officials say approximately 300-350 people in the protest area outside the Capitol right now, which includes members of the media.— Mike Balsamo (@MikeBalsamo1) September 18, 2021
Or maybe it's possible that the #JusticeforJ6 was simply contrived by Big Media for ratings.— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) September 18, 2021
One person was arrested during the event for possession of a knife, which are prohibited on Capitol grounds, according to U.S. Capitol police.