Several hundred people turned up for a far-right rally at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, amid a heightened security presence by the U.S. Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies.
The event, which is a protest of the ongoing arrests and prosecutions of people suspected of participating in the Jan. 6 insurrection, also drew throngs of journalists and counterprotesters.
Speakers delivered remarks from a podium near the Capitol early Saturday afternoon, as crowds milled about nearby.
Police broke up at least one heated exchange between what appeared to be a protester and a counterprotester. Nearby, officers wearing riot gear stood guard.
U.S. Capitol Police said they had arrested a man, who had a knife, for a weapons violation.
Ahead of Saturday’s rally, authorities took steps to ensure they avoided a repeat of what occurred on Jan. 6, when huge crowds of protesters overwhelmed law enforcement and breached the Capitol’s perimeter, gaining access to the building where lawmakers and staff huddled behind locked doors. The riot left several people dead.
Capitol Police installed fencing around the building this week and prepared a detailed security plan, which it shared with lawmakers.
“They seem very, very well-prepared, much better prepared than before Jan. 6,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said recently.
It was unclear just how large Saturday’s protest would be or whether it would come close to the size of the Jan. 6 crowd.
Look Ahead America, the group organizing Saturday’s event, estimates that about 700 people will attend, according to The Washington Post.
NPR’s Danielle Kurtzleben and NPR’s Lauren Hodges contributed to this report.