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Rallies are held across the US before ONE MILLION protesters are expected in DC today

Washington DC is gearing up for its biggest day of protests yet with one million Black Lives Matter demonstrators set to hit the US capital following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd last week.

Soldiers were seen standing guard outside the Lincoln Memorial yesterday as groups of local High School graduates posed for photographs on the iconic steps.

Meanwhile, just a stones throw away, the White House was transformed into a fortress, with black fences between seven and nine feet high erected around its perimeter.

The measures were taken in preparation for a planned demonstration protesting police brutality against black Americans and over the death of Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

Soldiers were seen standing guard outside the Lincoln Memorial yesterday as groups of local High School graduates posed for photographs on the iconic steps

Washington DC is gearing up for its biggest day of protests yet with one million Black Lives Matter demonstrators set to hit the US capital. Pictured: A high school graduate poses for a photograph at the Lincoln Memorial as a soldier stands guard

Washington DC is gearing up for its biggest day of protests yet with one million Black Lives Matter demonstrators set to hit the US capital. Pictured: A high school graduate poses for a photograph at the Lincoln Memorial as a soldier stands guard

Protests today are set to be one of the largest the capital has ever seen. Pictured: A demonstrator raises her fist as she takes part in a protest in Washington yesterday

Protests today are set to be one of the largest the capital has ever seen. Pictured: A demonstrator raises her fist as she takes part in a protest in Washington yesterday

A high school graduate poses for a photograph at the Lincoln Memorial as a soldier stands guard. Just a stones throw away, the White House was transformed into a fortress, with black fences between seven and nine feet high erected around its perimeter

A high school graduate poses for a photograph at the Lincoln Memorial as a soldier stands guard. Just a stones throw away, the White House was transformed into a fortress, with black fences between seven and nine feet high erected around its perimeter

Soldiers huddled together as a graduate posed for photographs at the Lincoln Memorial. Authorities suspect that today will be the city's biggest protest yet

Soldiers huddled together as a graduate posed for photographs at the Lincoln Memorial. Authorities suspect that today will be the city’s biggest protest yet

Protesters shouted 'Black Lives Matter' in front of Lafayette Park next to the White House yesterday as demonstrations continued

Protesters shouted ‘Black Lives Matter’ in front of Lafayette Park next to the White House yesterday as demonstrations continued

Chief of police of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia Peter Newsham said in a press conference on Thursday: 'We have a lot of public, open-source information to suggest that the event on this upcoming Saturday may be one of the largest that we’ve had in the city.' Pictured: High school graduates poses for a photograph at the Lincoln Memorial as a soldier stands guard

Chief of police of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia Peter Newsham said in a press conference on Thursday: ‘We have a lot of public, open-source information to suggest that the event on this upcoming Saturday may be one of the largest that we’ve had in the city.’ Pictured: High school graduates poses for a photograph at the Lincoln Memorial as a soldier stands guard

A group of high school graduates poses for a photograph at the Lincoln Memorial as a soldier wearing a face mask stands guard

A group of high school graduates poses for a photograph at the Lincoln Memorial as a soldier wearing a face mask stands guard

The hashtag #1MillionDCSaturday is trending on Twitter as demonstrators are called to march in DC today. Pictured: A high school graduate takes photographs at the Lincoln Memorial as a soldier stands guard

The hashtag #1MillionDCSaturday is trending on Twitter as demonstrators are called to march in DC today. Pictured: A high school graduate takes photographs at the Lincoln Memorial as a soldier stands guard

Authorities think the protests will bring as many one million people to the streets.

Chief of police of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia Peter Newsham said in a press conference on Thursday: ‘We have a lot of public, open-source information to suggest that the event on this upcoming Saturday may be one of the largest that we’ve had in the city.’

He wouldn’t commit to a number but predicted it would be smaller than the 1 million people who attended the Women’s March in 2017.

The hashtag #1MillionDCSaturday is trending on Twitter as demonstrators are called to march, McClatchy DC reports.

Floyd was killed when white police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds despite Floyd’s desperate pleas that he ‘can’t breathe’. He passed out and later died in Minneapolis on May 25. 

Workers install a security fence at Lafayette Square across from the White House on June 5 as many compare the news measures to a fortress

Workers install a security fence at Lafayette Square across from the White House on June 5 as many compare the news measures to a fortress

Tall black fences, between seven and nine feet, have sprung up around the perimeter of the White House as protesters have demonstrated over the death of George Floyd. Pictured: The White House during a protest over the death of Floyd

Tall black fences, between seven and nine feet, have sprung up around the perimeter of the White House as protesters have demonstrated over the death of George Floyd. Pictured: The White House during a protest over the death of Floyd

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser commissioned a 'Black Lives Matter' mural down 16th Street, which leads to the White House, ahead of the planned weekend protest

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser commissioned a ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural down 16th Street, which leads to the White House, ahead of the planned weekend protest 

The letters span two blocks of 16th Street, are 35 feet high and take up the width of the two-lane road

The letters span two blocks of 16th Street, are 35 feet high and take up the width of the two-lane road

The letters span two blocks of 16th Street, are 35 feet high and take up the width of the two-lane road (left and right)

His death is seen as a symbol of systemic police brutality against African-Americans sparking outrage and largely-peaceful protests across the US.  

Protests continued across the country last night with authorities appearing to heed warnings about the use of heavy-handed police tactics.

Residents of Minneapolis and St. Paul were no longer under a curfew on Friday night and the state is planning to start sending state troopers and National Guard members back home.

Protesters were seen walking down a rain-battered road in Washington DC during the Black Lives Matter protests in the capital

Protesters were seen walking down a rain-battered road in Washington DC during the Black Lives Matter protests in the capital

Washington has featured daily protests for the past week and they have largely been peaceful, with people marching back and forth from the White House to the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. Pictured: Protests in Washington yesterday

Washington has featured daily protests for the past week and they have largely been peaceful, with people marching back and forth from the White House to the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. Pictured: Protests in Washington yesterday

The cities saw violent protests and store break-ins late last week following Floyd’s death after being arrested by Minneapolis police. 

But peaceful protests have replaced the more violent scenes for nearly a week. Governer Tim Walz credited peaceful protests for helping achieve rapid change on Minneapolis Police Department policy. 

On Friday, the city agreed to ban chokeholds and neck restraints as a civil rights investigation of the department begins.

In Seattle, Mayor Jenny Durkan banned the police use of on CS gas for 30 days as protests continue.  

Washington has featured daily protests for the past week and they have largely been peaceful, with people marching back and forth from the White House to the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. 

In Los Angeles, California, a dance was performed as part of the protests to support the Black Lives Matter movement at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

In Los Angeles, California, a dance was performed as part of the protests to support the Black Lives Matter movement at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Thousands of protesters gathered at Jackson Square and Washington Artillery Park in New Orleans to protest

Thousands of protesters gathered at Jackson Square and Washington Artillery Park in New Orleans to protest

But the demonstrations have brought out gradually-increasing defences around the White House. 

Critics bashed the move, saying the White House, which has always been referred to as the People’s House, was suddenly no longer accessible to the American people.

On Tuesday morning, a tall fence was put on the north side of Lafayette Square, along H Street, so no one can enter the park, which is usually open to the public.

This is the place where peaceful demonstrators were teargassed by police to clear a path for Trump to take photos in front of St John’s Church.

Trump didn’t say anything, but just stood in front of the partially-burned church, later holding up a Bible for the photo-op.

On 17th Street, which borders the Eisenhower Executive Office Buildings, hundreds of feet of wall were erected all the way down, and around Constitution Avenue.

White House officials told The Washington Post that adding more security to the White House perimeter was not Trump’s decision, nor was he involved in it. 

However, Trump has frequently referred to himself as a ‘law-and-order’ president who wants to portray himself as strong and in control.

Supporters of the president see the moves as decisive action to quell protests.

But Trump’s critics see this tactics as dictatorial and compared the new fencing to the president’s pledge to build a wall along the US-Mexico land border.

Rain poured down on protesters in front of Lafayette Park next to the White House in Washington DC yesterday

Rain poured down on protesters in front of Lafayette Park next to the White House in Washington DC yesterday

Authorities in DC have sought to reduce tensions by having National Guard troops not carry weapons. Pictured: Protesters in DC yesterday

Authorities in DC have sought to reduce tensions by having National Guard troops not carry weapons. Pictured: Protesters in DC yesterday

Authorities in DC have sought to reduce tensions by having National Guard troops not carry weapons.

There were zero arrests during demonstrations on Thursday and Friday and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser canceled the curfew that had been in place since Monday. She said she will decide on Saturday morning if it will be reinstated.

Yesterday, President Trump blasted the mayor of Washington, DC as incompetent after a street near the White House was renamed ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza’ and the slogan was painted on a road leading to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

On Friday, Mayor Bowser commissioned ‘Black Lives Matter’ to be painted on the street that leads to the White House.

The letters span two blocks of 16th Street, are 35 feet high and take up the width of the two-lane road.

She also renamed a portion of Lafayette Square, the site of Trump’s ill-time photo-op as Black Lives Matter Plaza. 

Protesters gather at Jackson Square and Washington Artillery Park yesterday as protests following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd continued

Protesters gather at Jackson Square and Washington Artillery Park yesterday as protests following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd continued

This all came as Bowser announced that the Utah National Guard, more than 1,200 troops of 10 states, would be evicted from all DC hotels on Saturday.

‘The incompetent Mayor of Washington, DC, @MayorBowser, who’s budget is totally out of control and is constantly coming back to us for ‘handouts’, is now fighting with the National Guard, who saved her from great embarrassment over the last number of nights,’ Trump tweeted Friday afternoon.

‘If she doesn’t treat these men and women well, then we’ll bring in a different group of men and women!’ 

‘It’s a sad commentary that the [White] House and its inhabitants have to be walled off,’ Bowser told reporters during a press conference on Thursday.

‘We should want the White House to be opened up.’       

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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