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Washington, federal capital of the United States under siege. Since the National Guard and all of the District of Columbia police forces were mobilized, life around the Capitol has froze.
When the heart of American democratic institutions turns into a real entrenched camp. It is in a deserted capital, crisscrossed by the army, that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in on Wednesday and become President and Vice President of the United States.
All security arrangements have been made in Washington – as well as in other American cities – so as not to relive January 6, when the Capitol was stormed by supporters of Donald Trump. “Here in the District of Columbia, things seem to have calmed down rather,” said Captain Tuer of the Maryland National Guard. “The situation is under control, but we remain able to respond to anything that may arise.”
Lieutenant Connor has never taken part in such a security operation: “I was involved in riots in Baltimore, but really nothing of this magnitude. Such a large number of troops, and more in the American capital, I never imagined seeing that. “
The Capitol police, criticized for their handling of the attack on the Capitol, are now equipped with assault rifles, supported by military reinforcements who reassure residents still in shock. Even the Secret Service, usually responsible for protecting the President of the United States, came to strengthen the system.
“The last time I saw soldiers here was for September 11, 2001, when we were attacked by an external enemy,” explains this resident of the capital. “Today there are more American soldiers here than in Afghanistan. And this time it’s because a group of Americans attacked us.”