At least two images showing pallets of bricks near the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. have been shared on social media alongside allegations that they were planted there for protesters to use. The bricks in the photo, however, are unrelated to the demonstrations against the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade precedent that recognized women’s constitutional right to abortion.
The bricks pertained to a reconstruction project for an alley, spokespeople for District Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Police Department told Reuters.
Reuters coverage of the protests that sparked in D.C. and across the United States after the decision on Friday can be found ( nL1N2YC09X ).
An image tweeted Friday evening and retweeted over 7,605 times, showed eight pallets of bricks surrounded by traffic cones and yellow caution tape ( here )
Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert tweeted another photograph of the same location on June 24 and wrote “why are there 20 pallets of bricks one block from the House Office Buildings?” ( here ). Her tweet has garnered over 16,200 retweets.
“Riot season & Purge is back. I’m sure it will be ‘mostly peaceful’,” one user wrote ( here ).
“Here we go again .. the establishment wants the riots. Don’t be their puppets,” another one commented ( here ).
Reuters geolocated both images to 410 block of First Street SE in Washington D.C. ( bit.ly/3ODxZLC ).
A spokesperson for the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) told Reuters that stacks of brick pallets were placed in that location on the morning of Friday, June 24, for scheduled and ongoing alley restoration work. The stacks were covered in plastic and removed from the area on Saturday night, the spokesperson added.
As of June 27, the alley in question at 410 1ST Street SE was still listed as “under construction” in the DDOT’s PaveDC online dashboard ( here ) (see alleys tab).
The Daily Beast addressed Boebert’s tweet in an article ( here ) and clarified the bricks were material for an ongoing construction project “according to signs right next to the pallets.” A sign photographed by the Daily Beast identified the construction permittee as the company Capitol Paving of D.C., Inc ( capitolpaving.com/contact/ ).
Capitol Paving of D.C., Inc. did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.
The article features other pictures of the location showing a bulldozer in the alley as well as another image that shows the pallets later covered in plastic.
The Metropolitan Police Department also confirmed to Reuters the bricks in question “were part of an ongoing construction project.”
“Due to an increasing number of demonstrations in the area at this time, MPD requested the construction company to secure the bricks. The company agreed and the bricks were secured,” they added via email.
Narratives about the bricks being “planted” ahead of demonstrations are not new. Fact-checkers like PolitiFact ( here ), Factcheck.org ( here ), Snopes ( here ) and the publication Insider ( here ) addressed similar allegations during the 2020 protests following the death of George Floyd.
Missing context. These two images show pallets of bricks at 410 1ST Street SE in Washington D.C. for a construction project. The bricks in question are for ongoing alley restoration work and were removed from the area on Saturday night, a spokesperson for the District Department of Transportation told Reuters.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.
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