WASHINGTON, DC – According to reports, federal authorities are monitoring social media for any signals of possible “violence or extremism” regarding a planned rally protesting the likes of COVID jab mandates in D.C. come January 23rd.
The rally in question is dubbed as “Defeat the Mandates: An American Homecoming.” The website in relation to the rally doesn’t promote any sort of political leaning, billing the effort as representing “Americans of every class and color. Democrats and Republicans. Vaccinated and unvaccinated. United we stand. In peace we march.”
Not exactly the sort of phraseology and messaging one would associate with planned violence or extremism, but yet the federal government has taken a particular interest in this slated event.
More specifically, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Capitol Police have been circulating intel bulletins in recent days about Defeat the Mandates, but none have listed any sort of credible evidence to suggest that there will indeed be the likes of extremism.
But what has officials worried and monitoring the situation, per a recent USCP Intelligence and Interagency Coordination Division assessment, is “Due to the heightened divisive atmosphere surrounding COVID-19 mandates and vaccinations, altercations or interpersonal violence cannot be ruled out.”
In short, officials have concerns over strife that has played out over the past couple of years between COVID mandate advocates and those simply wanting to engage in their respective freedoms whether they relate to masks, lockdowns, and the biggest issue of late – COVID jab mandates.
The aforementioned USCP bulletin proclaims that the Defeat the Mandates rally is “as with most protest activity, is a soft target” additionally alleging that “extremists have become more comfortable with violence as a means to achieve political goals. The threat of a lone wolf or smaller-scale attack on a soft target remains high.”
With mentioned concerns that clashes between opposing groups could manifest if pro-jab mandate crowds “interpret actions from the Defeat the Mandate participants as antagonistic” the report also noted that “At this time, no explicit calls for counterprotest activity were seen by either group.”
Outside of possible dueling protests turning awry transpiring, the USCP assessment also mentions – while acknowledging no such plan have been discovered – that the White House “may be a target” if protesters get unruly.
“Although there are no plans for participants to visit the White House, should the group turn disruptive or violent, the White House may be a target as protesters see many of the vaccine and mask-wearing mandates as being commanded by the Biden Administration.”