WASHINGTON – Today workers began removing the remaining fencing surrounding the Capitol. The fencing was installed as a security measure following the January 6, 2021, insurrection attempt.

The following can be attributed to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-D.C.):

“The final fencing around the Capitol is being taken down today, representing an enormous victory for D.C. residents, who staunchly opposed being fenced off from the Capitol, and the American people. By the year 2021, we should not be relying on security theater based on 19th-century ideas when state-of-the-art options and cooperation among security forces could have prevented the events of January 6th. We are working on passing my bill to permit retractable fencing but prevent permanent fencing from being used, which would wall off the legislature from the people we represent.

The following can be attributed to Monica Hopkins, Executive Director, ACLU of the District of Columbia:

“As one of the premier free speech forums in this country, the Capitol grounds are and always will be an iconic symbol of this nation’s cherished democracy. The seat of our democracy must never be walled off from its own citizens seeking to exercise their First Amendment rights, or the residents of the District who had no voice in the matter. We thank Rep. Holmes-Norton for her tenacity and leadership on this issue. The ACLU-DC will continue to work to strengthen and advance our free speech rights in our nation’s capital.

The ACLU and ACLU-DC sent a joint letter on March 8 urging House and Senate leadership to reject the proposal to install permanent fencing around the Capitol. That letter can be found here: