Capitol Police ramp up security for tonight’s Congressional Baseball Game amid protest threat

Capitol Police ramp up security for tonight’s Congressional Baseball Game with climate protesters threatening chaos and five years after gunman stormed a practice session

  • U.S. Capitol Police are ramping up security for Thursday night’s Congressional Baseball Game 
  • Climate protesters are threatening to disrupt the event
  • ‘We have a robust security plan in place,’ said USCP Chief Tom Manger
  • The climate group Now or Never is vowing to shut down the game
  • Game has been played since 1909 and raises money for charity
  • It pits Democrats and Republicans against one another in friendly game
  • Republicans are the reigning champions 

U.S. Capitol Police are ramping up security for Thursday night’s Congressional Baseball Game as climate protesters threaten to disrupt the event.

‘We are aware that demonstrators are planning to protest political issues at the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity,’ U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said. ‘We have a robust security plan in place.’ 

‘We urge anyone who is thinking about causing trouble at the charity game to stay home. We will not tolerate violence or any unlawful behavior during this family event,’ he noted.

The disruption is planned five years after a gunman stormed a Republican practice session, shooting at lawmakers and badly wounding Rep. Steve Scalise. It also comes as threats against lawmakers have been on the rise and the Capitol Hill community remains shaken after the January 6th insurrection. 

The climate group Now or Never is vowing to shut down the game. They plastered posters around Washington D.C. demanding action on climate change and threatening to show up in mass at the charity event.. 

‘On July 28th, we will converge en masse on the Congressional Baseball Game to urge President Biden and Democrats to follow through on their climate promises by immediately passing historic climate investments into law and by declaring a climate emergency,’ the group notes on its website.

U.S. Capitol Police are ramping up security for Thursday night's Congressional Baseball Game as climate protesters threaten to disrupt the event

U.S. Capitol Police are ramping up security for Thursday night’s Congressional Baseball Game as climate protesters threaten to disrupt the event

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cheers at last year's game as President Joe Biden uses a cellphone - the president was lobbying on infrastructure legislation

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cheers at last year’s game as President Joe Biden uses a cellphone – the president was lobbying on infrastructure legislation

Vincent Vertuccio, a student at George Washington University and one of the organizers, said ‘entirely nonviolent’ and aims to ‘be disruptive in a peaceful way.’ 

He told Roll Call they expect 50 to 300 protesters to show up at Nationals Baseball Stadium on Thursday night. 

‘A lot of them are planning on risking arrest,’ he said. 

Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle have been critical of the protests.

‘I don’t understand it. It is charity. It’s a time to forget party political lines,’ Republican Rep. Roger Williams of Texas, who coaches the GOP team, told Fox News.

Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer says he ‘understands the angst’ but notes the event is for charity.

‘There’s a lot of ways to protest. I would think that’s not the best one,’ he noted. 

It’s unclear if President Joe Biden will attend the game. He did so last year as part of his lobbying campaign to lawmakers to support infrastructure legislation, which eventually passed. 

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, earlier this month, killed Biden’s green agenda with a vow to vote against it. 

But, in a surprise announcement on Wednesday, Manchin announced a deal with Democratic leadership on a bill that would fight inflation, raise taxes on the wealthy and fund some climate programs.

Manchin doesn’t play in the Congressional Baseball Game. 

President Joe Biden attended last year's game but it's unclear if he'll come to this year's

President Joe Biden attended last year’s game but it’s unclear if he’ll come to this year’s

This year's Congressional Baseball Game comes five years after a gunman shot up a Republican pratice session on June 14, 2017

This year’s Congressional Baseball Game comes five years after a gunman shot up a Republican pratice session on June 14, 2017

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise was badly wounded in the shooting incident; above he prepares to leave the Capitol for the 2018 game, which was one year after the shooting

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise was badly wounded in the shooting incident; above he prepares to leave the Capitol for the 2018 game, which was one year after the shooting

The game – which pits Democrats against Republicans in a friendly competition – has been played since 1909.

This year it’s raised $1.7 million for charity. The groups include The Washington Literacy Center, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, and Washington Nationals Philanthropies along with the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund.

Republicans won last year, 13-12, and are confident they can pull off a repeat. 

Williams said the players are stronger this year and have been practicing since March, from 5:30 am to 7 am. 

‘At our first practice we had snow,’ Republican Rep. Kat Cammack told Fox News. 

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