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Police, residents at odds over permanent fence around US Capitol

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Washington is on the fence about ringing the Capitol with permanent barricades.

Most lawmakers and locals don’t want them. The cops do.

Temporary security fencing went up after a mob of Trump supporters broke into the building January 6 — and now the Capitol police brass want it to stay in place.  

But Councilmember Charles Allen, who represents the Capitol Hill neighborhood, insists his constituents are adamantly opposed to blocking the storied structure. Already, the Capitol’s west terrace is closed, the fallout of the 9/11.

“DC does not support it,” Allen told The Associated Press.

Tweeted House member Jennifer Wexton, a Virginia Democrat: “I believe we can keep members, press, staff, my constituents, and all those who work here safe without walling off the symbol of our democracy. It’s the People’s House — let’s keep it that way.”

Capitol Hill resident Allison Cunningham is so opposed to keeping the fence that she’s circulating a petition online at change.org. By mid-day Saturday, she had collected more than 2,800 signatures

“It’s a beautiful and unique place where people love to walk their dogs, take family photos or photos to announce their engagement,” Cunningham told AP.

Architect and urban designer Susan Piedmont-Palladino thinks the Capitol can be made more secure without making it ugly or inaccessible — like the pedestrian plaza put in place in front of the White House after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

For Piedmont-Palladino, who teaches at Virginia Tech, the challenge is balancing security, access and appearance.

“We have gotten some beautiful improvements to the city out of fear,” she said.

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