Protesters arriving in the nation’s capital for the ninth consecutive day of demonstrations found the White House encircled by more than a mile of tall metal fencing.

The previous day, work crews had erected enough fencing — reinforced by white concrete barriers — to bar entry to Lafayette Square and to outline half of the Ellipse, the sloping green lawn that abuts the executive residence. But between Friday night and Saturday afternoon — on a day expected to draw tens of thousands to protest in the District — they added enough fencing to block the rest of the Ellipse.

In total, Google Maps analysis suggests, roughly 1.7 miles of fencing now surrounds the White House, forming a gigantic metal cocoon. There are only two portions of the White House perimeter, on the northeast and northwest corners, that do not have additional fencing and concrete barriers.

Although fortifications increased, the federal presence diminished: Compared with previous days, far fewer police or military officers strolled the streets or stood watch inside the park. There were almost no police officers visible anywhere as of the early afternoon.

Instead, the streets belonged to strolling protesters, many of whom stopped to stare and take pictures of the fencing, muttering to each other, “That’s insane” and “I can’t believe they went to this length.” Several leaned in close, angling phone cameras between the chain links, to snap photos of graffiti left on the Treasury Department, before it was barricaded by tall metal.

“We need justice,” someone had sprayed in black. “We are unarmed,” read a message in red.

The security perimeter around the executive complex started to expand early this week after nighttime demonstrations in Lafayette Square turned violent last weekend. The eight-foot tall black chain-link fence first materialized outside the White House on Tuesday, barring demonstrators from the square.

The Washington Post’s Carol D. Leonnig reported earlier this week that President Trump was rushed to a secure bunker in the White House on Friday, June 1, after a group of protesters breached temporary fences set up near the Treasury Department.

At a news conference Thursday, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said she’s concerned the extension of security barriers beyond the White House perimeter could become permanent.

“Keep in mind that’s the people’s house,” she said. “It’s a sad commentary that the [White] House and its inhabitants have to be walled off.”

The Secret Service told CNN on Thursday that the additional fencing will remain up until next Wednesday.

Jhonathan Campos, Keima Jenkins and Sharlene Ramos posed for a selfie at 2 p.m. Saturday with their backs against fencing placed just outside the Treasury Department. It was their first day out protesting, and they were midway through walking the perimeter of the Ellipse — they wanted to see how far the fencing went.

They took the selfie to document what they told themselves — signing to each other, because Jenkins and Campos are deaf — was an insane moment in American history. Then they kept walking.

Elsewhere, some demonstrators unfamiliar with the layout of the District decided to put the fencing to practical use.

“How do we get to the White House?” asked a woman, pausing in the middle of 17th Street NW to squint at her phone.

The man standing beside her snorted. “Simple,” he said. “Just follow the fence.”

Carol D. Leonnig contributed to this report.

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