On January 20th, Democrat Joe Biden is to be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States at the Capitol in Washington. Like every inauguration of a new president, this is also considered a “National Security Special Event” – an event with the highest level of security.
But after the violent storming of the Capitol by radical supporters of the elected President Donald Trump last Thursday, fears are mounting that the swearing-in of his successor and his vice-president Kamala Harris could also be disrupted. US media and experts quoted after the disturbing events from online groups of right-wing extremist Trump fans who are planning a new escalation of violence – either on January 20 itself or in the days before.
“Trump WILL be sworn in for a second term on January 20th!”, It said about the day after the storming of the Capitol in a post in the fan forum “TheDonald.win”. “We must not let the communists win. And if we have to torch DC for that. ”
In online forums there is talk of a “Million Militia March”, a march of the militias to disrupt the inauguration of Biden. According to the “New York Times”, Trump supporters agree on carpooling and overnight accommodations around Washington – and discuss which weapons they should bring with them, baseball bats or even better assault rifles.
“We have stormed the building before, we can take it again,” the newspaper quotes one of the Trump supporters, who celebrate the storm of the Capitol as a success and want to use the swearing-in ceremony for new unrest.
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Organizers and authorities face the risk of exposing Biden, his Vice President Harris, former US presidents, as well as members of parliament and other high-ranking guests to the anger and violence of a mob of Trump supporters at the inauguration, with even stronger security measures than the highest rating already provides .
“There will be very extensive reviews of events and changes to strengthen security,” said Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is a member of the parliamentary organizing committee for the inauguration, the broadcaster “CBS News”.
Biden has full confidence in the security forces
Shortly after the storm on the Capitol, in which the security forces seemed helpless and were exposed to severe criticism, a powerful, supposedly insurmountable fence was built around the area around the Capitol. This is routine when a US president is sworn in. The fence is supposed to stay there for at least 30 days.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser extended the state of emergency imposed on the day of the Capitol Storm by 15 days with heightened security measures until January 21, the day after Biden and Harris were sworn in. More than 6,000 national guards are said to be in the city.
The attack on the Capitol “will not stop us from showing the Americans – and the world – that our democracy continues,” said Senator Klobuchar and her Republican colleague Roy Blunt, who are jointly responsible for the inauguration are. “We will initiate President Biden into office.”
The upcoming president himself is also very relaxed. Biden said he had complete confidence in the security forces and his Secret Service bodyguards.
Google, Apple and Amazon are banning right-wing platform Parler
To storm the Capitol, radical Trump fans had already met since December in the social network Parler, which is popular with right-wing extremists, as US media unanimously reported. As a consequence, Google has now removed Parler from its app store. The controversial network allows “outrageous content” that could incite deadly violence, Google justified the decision on Friday. Parler was recently used in particular by right-wing extremists who had previously been excluded from other online platforms.
[Mehr über die Aufrührer des Sturms auf das Kapitol können Abonnenten von T+ hier lesen: Veteranin, Neo-Nazi, Abgeordneter, Q-Gläubige – das sind die Menschen, die das Kapitol stürmten]
One day after Google, Apple Parler also banned Parler from its app store until further notice. The platform violated the App Store conditions, it said in a message from Apple to Parker, about which the broadcaster “CNN” reported on Saturday evening (local time).
“The processes that Parler has put in place to moderate or prevent the distribution of dangerous and illegal content have proven to be inadequate,” said Apple. In particular, direct threats of violence and calls to incite illegal acts that violated the guidelines were found. Parler had been removed from the App Store until the problems were resolved.
On Sunday, Amazon Parler also banned from his services. Amazon Web Services (AWS) will no longer be available to the news service as a web host from Sunday 11:59 p.m. (8:59 a.m. CET), AWS announced in an email to Parler on Sunday, according to the US Internet medium BuzzFeed.
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Since networks such as Facebook and Twitter have actively combated false reports as well as racist and violence-glorifying content, other platforms such as Newsmax and Rumble have gained popularity alongside Parler. Among other things, supporters of Trump who believe his unsubstantiated election fraud allegations migrated to the platforms.
People around Trump had repeatedly advertised Parler as an alternative to Twitter or Facebook, which allegedly suppressed conservative views. White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said on Twitter at the end of June that she had set up an account with Parler because she was fed up with conservatives being “censored” on these platforms.
On Friday, Facebook and Twitter blocked the accounts of Trump, who had repeatedly incited his followers through these channels. The reason they cited was the risk of further incitement to violence. Twitter not only blocked Trump’s personal account, but also deleted messages on the official account of the President @POTUS. Trump switched to these after his @realDonaldTrump account was banned.
To what extent the restrictions on social media will significantly reduce the risk of unrest surrounding the inauguration on January 20 remains to be seen. “We’re not being silenced,” Trump supporters say defiantly.
The elected president has announced that he will not take part in Biden’s swearing-in ceremony. “To everyone who asked: I will not go to the inauguration on January 20,” Trump tweeted on Friday. He didn’t give a reason for this. (with agencies)
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