Pathetic ‘Stop The Steal’ Rally In Pennsylvania Shows A Struggling MAGA Movement

Written by on November 6, 2020

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Hours after Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden took the lead over President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania on Friday morning, all however guaranteeing his victory within the presidential election, a black SUV with a Accomplice flag bumper sticker drove slowly as much as the state Capitol constructing in Harrisburg, a “Make America Nice Once more” flag billowing from the again. 

Nel Ex, a 32-year-old native activist who occurred to be exterior the Capitol, approached the SUV and let the motive force have a bit of his thoughts. 

“Yo, how’s it really feel to lose?” he yelled. “You’re a fucking traitor, man. Yo, who received the warfare? The North, bitch!” 

The SUV drove away. 

The interplay set the tone for the day in Harrisburg, the place Trump supporters gathered for a somewhat underwhelming “Cease The Steal” rally in assist of the president, a part of a nationwide right-wing marketing campaign to falsely painting the outcomes of the election as fraudulent. 

As they gathered on the Capitol steps round midday, two bicyclists rode circles on the road under, blaring YG and Nipsey Hussle’s “FDT (Fuck Donald Trump)” from two transportable audio system. 

Biden supporters in automobiles driving by raised center fingers on the virtually all-white crowd of crimson MAGA hats and Skinny Blue Line flag T-shirts. 

It was the second day of the “Cease the Steal” demonstrations in Harrisburg, all organized by far-right operative and influencer Scott Presler, who doesn’t stay in Pennsylvania. 

Presler, who used to work for the anti-Muslim hate group Act for America, directed the 60 or so die-hard Trump supporters in a sequence of chants — “Audit the vote!” — and had them pose for group images. 

After I requested Presler for what proof of voter fraud on this years’ election, he repeatedly cited a false story about useless folks voting in Michigan. He didn’t present another examples. 

After I asserted that there’s no proof of widespread voter fraud — as a result of there isn’t —  Presler accused me of being a “subjective” journalist who was stating an “opinion” as a substitute of information. 

He then requested what proof I had that there’s no widespread voter fraud on this yr’s election — primarily asking that I show a unfavourable — earlier than telling me that he had been recording our dialog, the audio of which he threatened to publish. He then ended the interview. 

A short while later, the group stood silently behind Presler as he raised his cellphone and appeared to conduct a video interview with Jack Posobiec, the neo-Nazi collaborator and distinguished MAGA propagandist. 

“Superior, thanks One America Information,” Presler stated on the finish of the interview, referring to the far-right community for which Posobiec works. 

The remainder of the demonstration maintained a low-energy vibe, with Trump supporters alternating between standing and sitting on the Capitol steps, and solely a smattering of bemused journalists to bear witness as they took turns speaking over a megaphone. 

As a journalist with CNN tried to interview one demonstrator, a close-by man yelled “CNN sucks” off-camera. 

One other man stood on the steps dressed as a NPC — or Non-Enjoying Character — an web meme common among the many far proper. The meme, an illustration of a grey and featureless man, is supposed to symbolize individuals who don’t assume for themselves — unthinking automatons that you simply would possibly encounter in a online game.  

The person, who declined to determine himself, stated he dressed within the costume to mock Biden, who he claimed was an NPC with “no unique concepts or ideas” and a “communist piece of shit.” 

As I talked to him, the plastic pyramid he wore on his head, inscribed with the phrases “New World Order” — a phrase widespread amongst right-wing conspiracy theorists who concern {that a} cabal of world elites are secretly orchestrating world occasions — fell to the bottom. 

As he struggled to affix the pyramid again atop his head, I requested him if he deliberate to come back to extra “Cease The Steal” rallies. 

“I’m probably not positive,” he replied. “Mainly, they’re simply probably not value it to me.” 

The demonstration started to fizzle out round three p.m. 

Supporters of President Donald Trump pose for a photo during a "Stop The Steal" rally on the steps of the Pennsylvania State

Supporters of President Donald Trump pose for a photograph throughout a “Cease The Steal” rally on the steps of the Pennsylvania State Capitol constructing in Harrisburg on Nov. 6, 2020.

Research warned of attainable violence from Trump supporters if the president misplaced his reelection bid. This backlash, in fact, remains to be a really actual and terrifying risk. On Thursday night time, authorities in Philadelphia arrested two obvious Trump supporters who have been allegedly plotting to assault a vote-counting location within the metropolis. On Saturday in Harrisburg, armed right-wing militias are anticipated to rally on the Capitol steps. 

However the “Cease the Steal” demonstration Friday noticed the MAGA motion trying weak, deflated.  

Kadida Kenner, director of the Pennsylvania Price range and Coverage Heart, a progressive coverage analysis group, stood throughout the road from the demonstration because it ended. 

Kenner, who has helped set up a sequence of pro-democracy demonstrations right here this week, handed out “Rely Each Vote” T-shirts to passersby and seemed up on the dwindling MAGA crowd. 

“You already know, they’re figuring some issues out for themselves,” Kenner stated of the Trump supporters. “And, , identical to another people had a day of mourning perhaps on Nov. 9 of 2016, I feel perhaps they’re coming to some realizations proper now as effectively.”  

“And so, we’ll allow them to keep it up with their First Modification proper,” she stated.

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