Capitol will not allow sledding amid security concerns

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Renee G
·3 min read
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After the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol, security was tightened in the area

On Saturday Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington, D.C.’s non-voting delegate to Congress, requested that the Capitol Police relax security measures as the nation’s capital braces for what could be one of the biggest snowstorms in years.

“The west side of the Capitol is well known as perhaps the best place for sledding in D.C.’s high-density urban environment. Annually, I get a provision included in the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill directing the Capitol Police to allow sledding on Capitol grounds,” said Norton in a statement to the federal law enforcement agency.

A man pulls his son up the hill as people sled on the west side of the U.S. Capitol, on January 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. The DC area was hit with 4-7 inches of snow accumulation with the potential of another 2-4 inches. President Donald Trump is holding off from a threatened national emergency declaration to fund a border wall amidst the longest partial government shutdown in the nation’s history. (Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)
A man pulls his son up the hill as people sled on the west side of the U.S. Capitol, on January 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. The DC area was hit with 4-7 inches of snow accumulation with the potential of another 2-4 inches. President Donald Trump is holding off from a threatened national emergency declaration to fund a border wall amidst the longest partial government shutdown in the nation’s history. (Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)

“While the Capitol complex has been closed since the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, sledding can be done safely by allowing only children and adults accompanied by children with sleds or other sled-like devices to use the Capitol grounds for sledding,” Norton continued.

Read More: Eleanor Holmes Norton interrupts Obama multiple times at White House meeting

After the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol, security was tightened in the area. Security officials called in 25,000 National Guard troops to be stationed at the Capitol during President Joe Biden’s inauguration, and thousands of troops have remained behind in the weeks following, but Norton appealed to the Capitol Police, asking them to consider that the nation’s children have endured a tumultuous year and deserve to experience such a simple childhood pleasure.

“This could be the only snowstorm D.C. gets this winter, and may be one of the best for sledding in years. Children and their parents should be able to enjoy sledding on one of the best hills in the city,” she said.

“Children across America have endured an extremely challenging year, and D.C. children in particular have not only endured the coronavirus pandemic but now the militarization of their city, with the hostile symbols of fences and barbed wire. Sledding is a simple, childhood thrill. It is the least we can allow for our resilient children this winter season,” Norton continued.

Read More: At least four dead as snow storm slams the East Coast

According to Fox News, a National Guard spokesman said on Saturday night that Norton’s request was being denied.

“Unfortunately, due to the current security posture, COVID-19 restrictions, and the deconstruction of the Inaugural platform, we cannot permit sledding on the Capitol Complex at this time,” the unnamed spokesman said.

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