Prior to Biden’s swearing-in, Washington DC turned into a fortress

NEW DELHI: In the days leading to the swearing-in ceremony of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, an unprecedented cover of security force of tens of thousands of armed National Guards (called in from all 50 states), have been deployed at the Capitol and adjoining district turning the whole area into a fortress.

The entire area around the Capitol Hill and the National Mall in Washington DC, have been cordoned off and a heavy pose of security cover can be seen at every street corner of the District and the down town area.

Movements of people including locals and tourists have been restricted, all monuments have been shut for public as unprecedented efforts are being made to deter people from visiting DC during the week of the inauguration over concerns of protests or political violence.

The massive security operation that surpassed any in modern US security arrangements has been deemed necessary in the wake of a recent riot and violent attack that was witnessed on January 6, 2021, when the Capitol was breached by a mob of rioters from a preceding rally held at the White House by incumbent President Donald Trump.

The mob entered the Capitol even as the joint session of Congress was meeting to certify the election of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. The attack had resulted in the death of four rioters, including a woman who was shot as she attempted to breach the Capitol, and one Capitol Police officer.

Apart from damaging property inside the Capitol building, the mob of pro-Trump rioters had torn down the mesh fencing and barriers that were previously installed for the construction of the inaugural stage which is being again put in place for the ceremony that will be attended by a very select number of invited guests.

While Vice President Mike Pence will most likely to be attending Biden's inauguration, reports say that Trump would not attend the inauguration as he has already announced.

Since no public is allowed even to attend the ceremony, a public art display of 1,91,500 US flags and 56 pillars of light (representing the 50 US states, DC, and five U.S. territories), have been installed across the National Mall to 13th Street.

Biden will be sworn-in at noon, on a Bible, held by his wife, that has been in his family since 1893 by the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, John Roberts, while Harris will be sworn-in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Reporter

  • Prashant Sarkar
    Prashant Sarkar

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