After Trump’s Defeat, His Supporters Held A Heavily Armed Pity Party
Written by Black Voices on November 7, 2020
HARRISBURG, Pa. — After information networks declared President Donald Trump the loser of the 2020 election on Saturday, about 2,000 of his supporters gathered right here within the capital of Pennsylvania — a must-win state the president misplaced — for a closely armed pity celebration.
The rally outdoors the state Capitol was in stark distinction to the joyous celebrations seen throughout the globe, together with within the president’s hometown of New York Metropolis, the place residents took over the streets to sing, dance and drink Champagne.
In Harrisburg, a ghoulish and merciless coalition of gun-toting MAGA extremists — who’ve loved 4 years of being emboldened and condoned by the president ― gathered for hours to take part within the shared delusion that their man hadn’t actually misplaced the White Home.
They arrived round midday, instantly trying to disrupt a permitted protest organized by pro-democracy progressives who had simply heard the information that their most well-liked candidate, Democrat Joe Biden, had gained Pennsylvania and was due to this fact the brand new president-elect.
Because the Biden supporters danced on the steps, the MAGA crowd yelled “Cease the steal!” — a typical chant at right-wing rallies throughout the nation this week, a part of a coordinated marketing campaign to falsely allege Biden was successful due to widespread voter fraud.
As I approached the dueling demonstrations, I used to be instantly accosted by Jonathan Lee Riches, a infamous troll. He wore a purple MAGA hat and a T-shirt emblazoned with symbols of the Proud Boys, a violent neo-fascist avenue gang. He repeated the white nationalist slogan “It’s OK to be white” as he began to movie me, demanding that I denounce “antifa.”
Police finally informed the MAGA crowd that it wanted to maneuver its demonstration to the opposite facet of the constructing. The protesters obliged, waving their MAGA flags and Skinny Blue Line flags alongside the best way.
As soon as assembled there, Rep. Dan Mueser (R-Pa.), a Trump fan broadly believed to be eyeing a run for governor, took maintain of a megaphone and spoke to the gang about how the outcomes of the election had been illegitimate.
He was surrounded by fascists. To his left, a person waved a flag for the anti-Semitic white nationalist motion referred to as America First. To his proper, a person clad in black held an indication that learn “Standing Again And Standing By For Our President” — a reference to when Trump, requested at a debate to sentence the Proud Boys, as an alternative informed them to “stand again and stand by.”
Far-right extremists have been a fixture of Trump rallies during the last 4 years, however it’s nonetheless arduous to overstate what number of had been in Harrisburg on Saturday. The place was crawling with them.
A person in sun shades, who had a collared shirt tucked into his khakis, stood silently watching the MAGA rally. He held a mug in his proper hand with the emblem of America First, the white nationalist group whose founder marched within the lethal 2017 “Unite The Proper” fascist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Once I requested him concerning the mug, and to establish himself, he regarded again at me silently.
One other man took maintain of the megaphone earlier than telling the gang that it was time to “free Kyle” — a reference to the 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, a Trump supporter charged with capturing and killing two individuals at an anti-racism protest in Wisconsin in August.
Armed militias had been additionally within the metropolis. They carried lengthy weapons and wore bulletproof vests. Some had been members of a Pennsylvania chapter of the Three Percenters; others had been followers of the militia-world influencer Daryl Stevens, aka “Offended Viking.”
Stevens did an interview with Fox Information, and informed varied individuals within the crowd that the Supreme Court docket would finally ship the presidency again to Trump and that “antifa and Black Lives Matter are each terrorist organizations.”
The militiamen weren’t the one ones with weapons. A number of Trump supporters may very well be noticed carrying sidearms all through the day.
Additionally within the crowd had been believers in QAnon, a pro-Trump conspiracy motion based mostly on on-line posts by an nameless particular person referred to as “Q” who claims to be a senior authorities official with entry to details about a globalist cabal of pedophiles waging struggle in opposition to the president.
Many individuals wore QAnon pins or hats or T-shirts, and the gang typically broke into chants of “Joe Biden is a pedophile!” — a baseless accusation fashionable among the many QAnon trustworthy.
Regardless of many large worldwide celebrations of Trump’s defeat Saturday, the demonstration in Harrisburg — together with comparable pro-Trump rallies in Michigan and Minnesota and Oregon — provided sobering proof that the fascist political motion the president has cultivated throughout his sole time period within the White Home remains to be hopelessly dedicated to him, and that America will likely be coping with the MAGAverse and all its delusions lengthy after Biden is inaugurated in 74 days.
After the solar set in Harrisburg, and as individuals started to go away the Capitol constructing, a person on Third Road sat in an RV papered over with a number of the MAGA merchandise he sells at Trump rallies throughout the nation: posters studying “Hearth The Lockdown Liberal” or that includes an illustration of Trump standing atop a tank holding a machine gun.
The person, who refused to establish himself, informed me that with out Trump, America would fall into the palms of globalists who would flip it right into a “third-world nation.”
Once I requested him if he was frightened about dropping enterprise if Biden took over within the White Home, he gave a one-word reply: “Nope.”
CORRECTION: A earlier model of this text misstated Rep. Dan Meuser’s first title as Jim.
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