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Weekend Rundown: Capitol Fencing is Back


Fencing is back up around the Capitol “out of an abundance of caution” ahead of President Joe Biden‘s State of the Union address tomorrow. A statement from U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger also noted the “possibility of demonstrations in the next couple of weeks.”

Truckers have threatened to “choke” streets in convoys, calling for an economic jumpstart and protesting COVID-19 restrictions—despite cities nationwide, including D.C., easing restrictions like mask mandates for indoor spaces and vaccine mandates to enter businesses. 

As the “People’s Convoy” that departed from Southern California moved closer to D.C., city trucks and at least one National Guard truck were posted up at some intersections and highway exits as barricades against truck traffic. Capitol Police and 700 unarmed National Guard members are on high alert. D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee has warned residents of “disruptions to traffic.” Remora House DC, a nonprofit that provides supplies to unhoused residents, has been raising money for medical kits in case the convoy isn’t so peaceful. And many residents are wondering how a freedom convoy against largely nonexistent restrictions and unproven rightwing gripes is happening right now in the U.S. while there’s a real freedom fight in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, José Andrés, the D.C.-based chef perhaps best known for aiding in humanitarian crises, is serving hot meals to Ukrainian refugees crossing the border into Poland with his nonprofit World Central Kitchen. Last night he posted a video describing the freezing temperatures and refugees carrying children and suitcases across the border. Andrés said WCK is serving meals at various entry points in Poland and Romania and will be in neighboring countries like Moldova as well.

“We are telling them, ‘Guys, there are many ways to fight. And some people fight making sure that other people are fed,’” he said. “Those are our people, and we’re going to be supporting them in many ways.”

Ambar Castillo (tips? acastillo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
  • Former D.C. Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe was found dead yesterday in his home in Southeast D.C. His tenure as chief was tumultuous and included a bevy of service complaints over delays in patient care. [Post
  • Russia House, a restaurant in Northwest D.C., was vandalized twice over the weekend. Police are investigating whether the incidents were motivated by hate. [NBC4
  • Here are some ways D.C. residents can help in the Ukraine crisis. [Washingtonian]

By Ambar Castillo (tips? acastillo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Credit: Darrow Montgomery
  • Attorney General Karl Racine keeps fanning rumors about his potential entry into the mayoral race (even as he insists he’s ready to cash in in the private sector). Mayor Muriel Bowser dubs him “intensely political and increasingly erratic.” [Post]
  • D.C.’s marijuana gifters are pressing local leaders to set up a legal market for sales to prepare for the day the Congressional ban is lifted. [DCist]
  • Council Chairman Phil Mendelson backs a bill to make WhatsApp messages subject to open records laws after revelations that Bowser’s team continues to use the app for government communications. [Twitter]

By Alex Koma (tips? akoma@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Credit: Laura Hayes
  • A conversation with D Light Cafe’s Ukrainian owners. [Washingtonian]
  • Where to find Hurricane cocktails in D.C. for Mardi Gras. [DC Eater]

By Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The world is overwhelming right now, but there are little signs of spring blossoming around D.C. [PoPville]
  • Speaking of spring, Petworth Porchfest returns April 30. Here is how to perform, offer up a porch, and volunteer. [Petworth News]
  • Both Howard University and Virginia’s Hampton University will now offer a scholarship to a student studying art animation, entertainment or communication courtesy of Peanuts Worldwide’s Armstrong Project, which provides $200,000 in endowments to the two HBCUs. The project will also provide mentorships and internships and has a lot to do with Peanuts character Franklin Armstrong. [Post]

By Sarah Marloff (tips? smarloff@washingtoncitypaper.com)



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