At least 23 arrested as crowds turn unruly following pro-Trump rally in DC

Written by on December 12, 2020

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President Donald Trump drove previous and waved at protesters as they gathered for the so-called “Million MAGA March in Washington, D.C. on November 14. Storyful

WASHINGTON – A crowd waving American flags and carrying “Make America Nice Once more” hats gathered Saturday in Freedom Plaza in assist of President Donald Trump and his unfounded allegations of voter fraud in the presidential election

Later within the night, the scene grew to become unruly. WRC-TV reported that 4 folks have been taken to a hospital with stab wounds, and the Metropolitan Police Division informed the station that 23 folks have been arrested.

Movies posted to social media confirmed confrontations between Trump supporters and opponents and other people carrying pro-Trump apparel attacking bystanders. In a single incident, a bystander pulled out a knife after arguing with Trump supporters. In one other, police pepper-sprayed folks concerned in a scuffle.

Earlier, the temper in Freedom Plaza was celebratory as audio system together with Sebastian Gorka falsely claimed Trump had received the election and urged demonstrators to maintain the strain on state legislatures.

Just a few blocks away, issues have been getting tense close to Black Lives Matter Plaza, not removed from the White Home. Police in riot gear shaped a line to separate members of the Proud Boys, a far-right nationalist group, from counterprotesters. Proud Boys antagonized police, demanding to be let by and buying and selling expletives with counterprotesters.

On Saturday evening, extra movies posted to social media showed fights and documented far-right demonstrators burning a Black Lives Matter banner. The violence escalated after darkish, whilst police labored to maintain Proud Boy members away from counter-protesters, according to the Washington Post.

Throughout the nation in Olympia, Washington, Police in arrested one individual following a capturing close to numerous demonstrations, together with a bunch that wished COVID-19 restrictions lifted, one other protesting President Donald Trump’s loss within the presidential election final month, and a Black Lives Matter counterprotest.

The Washington DC rally was organized by Ladies for America First, a conservative group that organized last month’s “Stop the Steal” rally, which drew tens of 1000’s of individuals.

As many as 15,000 folks have been anticipated Saturday, in accordance with the group’s allow. 

Trump tweeted Saturday morning that he was unaware of the event, “however I’ll be seeing them!” Folks cheered as he flew on Marine One on his approach out of city for the Military-Navy soccer recreation in West Level, New York.

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The group began to skinny by mid-afternoon. Many did not put on masks, regardless of a mask mandate set by Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser. Organizer Cindy Chafian informed attendees to scrub their arms however mocked COVID-19 precautions like social distancing and mask-wearing. 

Chants of “CNN sucks, Fox Information sucks too!” “4 extra years!” and “Combat for Trump!” broke out as huge audio system blared pro-Trump songs comparable to “Actual Ladies Vote For Trump.” 

Because the rally concluded, a small crowd of Trump supporters bearing flags and indicators marched to the Supreme Courtroom the place they broke into chants of “USA” and “4 extra years.” The group began to disburse as police labored to clear the road.

The Supreme Courtroom on Friday denied an effort to forestall battleground states from casting their Electoral Faculty votes for President-elect Joe Biden on Monday.

“The courts don’t resolve who the subsequent president of america can be,” former nationwide safety adviser Michael Flynn mentioned. Although the Supreme Courtroom’s choice has all however sealed Trump’s political destiny, he contended, “There are paths which might be nonetheless in play.”

Flynn pled responsible to perjury for mendacity to the FBI over his conversations with a Russian ambassador earlier than Trump grew to become president, however Trump pardoned him final month.

Some attendees appeared to support QAnon, the baseless conspiracy idea that the FBI has deemed a home terrorist risk. 

ANALYSIS: Donald Trump stood no chance in front of a conservative Supreme Court. Here’s why.

Lisa Parry and her husband, Richard, drove 14 hours from Florida to point out their assist for Trump and demand transparency from the federal government. Parry, who wore a “Million MAGA March” sweatshirt, mentioned she doesn’t consider Biden might’ve received the election. 

The evening of the election, “I went to mattress at 1 o’clock and Trump was forward. There’s no approach,” Parry, a retired nurse mentioned. “I don’t consider it. It’s faked.”

CHECK OUT:Here’s a look at what courts said about rejecting attempts to overturn Biden’s election win

No allegations of widespread voter fraud have been substantiated, and some dozen lawsuits elevating such allegations have failed. Even Lawyer Basic William Barr has said there is no evidence of fraud that may have affected the result of the presidential race.

Enrique Tarrio, the chairman of the Proud Boys, implied he had been invited to the White Home on Saturday. However White Home Deputy Assistant and Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere informed USA TODAY that Tarrio was merely on a Christmas tour open to the general public.

For Trump supporters, the rally is a approach to precise their disillusionment and anger over the election, Amy Kremer, chair for Ladies for America First, beforehand informed USA TODAY. She traveled to the nation’s capital as a part of a two-week, cross-country bus tour.

“We wish him to proceed to keep sturdy and struggle to reveal this voter fraud and demand transparency and election integrity,” she mentioned. “The second function is de facto to assist one another.”

The rally comes simply days earlier than electors from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., meet of their respective capitals to forged votes for president based mostly on the favored votes in every state. Biden received 306 electoral votes and Trump bought 232; a presidential candidate wants 270 to win.

BEHIND THE LAWSUITS: For these Trump supporters primed to disbelieve defeat, challenging the election was a civic duty

‘We, the folks, are pissed’

Robin Pressley, 53, of jap Tennessee, got here to the November rally and returned Saturday in pro-Trump apparel. She mentioned if the Electoral Faculty formalizes the win for Biden on Monday, they’ll be again within the streets. 

“We’ll be again out right here. We’re not going to stop,” she mentioned. “We, the folks, are pissed.”

Pressley, who owns a cleansing enterprise, and her husband, Greg, mentioned they consider the election outcomes nonetheless could possibly be overturned though practically each lawsuit alleging voter fraud has been struck down in courtroom.

“I don’t know the way he’s going to do it,” Pressley mentioned. “However God’s gonna handle issues.”

“Trump can be inaugurated on January 20th,” Greg Pressley mentioned. “The final phrase’s not been mentioned but.”

Stephanie Liu, a analysis assistant from New York, got here to the rally with Chinese language People for Trump to protest “election fraud.”

“It’s so apparent … the media was mendacity,” she mentioned. “That makes America look so dangerous in entrance of the entire world.”

Cynthia Brokenshire, Elizabeth Mortimer and Anmarie Kaziamis met on Fb and carpooled from New Jersey to Washington Saturday morning. They could not attend the earlier rally in November however made some extent to come back Saturday to assist the “Cease the Steal” marketing campaign.

“Our democracy is in danger,” Kaziamis mentioned whereas holding a Trump flag. “I wouldn’t miss this one for the world.”

‘STOP THE STEAL’: Trump says the election is not over as ‘Stop the Steal’ and ‘voter fraud’ disinformation go viral on Facebook and Twitter

A number of teams, together with the anti-Trump group Refuse Fascism and anti-fascist group All Out DC, held counterprotests at Black Lives Matter Plaza, just some blocks from the White Home. 

To keep away from confrontation, organizers of Saturday’s rally informed demonstrators to keep away from sure inns and designated components of Washington as a “no-go zone.” 5 folks have been arrested Friday evening and have been charged with disorderly conduct, inciting violence and assault, amongst different expenses.

Skirmishes between protesters and counterprotesters broke out throughout town on the November rally. At the very least 20 folks have been arrested on quite a lot of expenses, together with assault and weapons possession, The Related Press reported. 

Contributing: Will Carless; Related Press

Learn or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/information/nation/2020/12/12/trump-march-brings-thousands-dc-ahead-electoral-college-vote/3882935001/


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