Trump supporters outnumbered by police and media as latest rally falls flat

Only a couple of hundred Donald Trump supporters turned out for a rally calling for the result of the US Presidential election to be overturned.  

Police and media vastly outnumbered the protesters, who voiced their support for those who breached the Capitol in riot which left five people dead on January 6.

About 100 to 200 protesters showed up at the building on Saturday, some carrying the flags of the right-wing group Three Percenters over their shoulders.

It was far fewer than the 700 people organisers had expected and the mob of thousands who brought mayhem to the building following President Joe Biden’s victory in the election.  

Hundreds of officers patrolled the Capitol grounds, as an eight-foot high fence that surrounded the building for about six months after the attack was reinstalled – reflecting unease about a potential repeat of the attack.

A hundred National Guard troops were also on standby, following major questions about the police response to the initial protests.

Trump’s far-right supporters are attempting to rewrite the history of the deadly assault, with speaker after speaker insisting that hundreds of rioters arrested are ‘political prisoners’ who committed no violence.

Prosecutors, observers and legal experts say the cases are being handled properly.

Matt Braynard, a rally organiser and supporter of Trump’s false claims that his defeat was the result of widespread fraud, said: ‘This is about justice and disparate treatment.’

There were some squabbles with counter-demonstrators, as police on bicycles moved in to break up the occasional yelling matches.  

Four arrests were made, including that of a man armed with a handgun spotted in the crowd, though Capitol Police said it was ‘not clear why the man was at the demonstration.’

Officers in riot gear also removed one man from the rally who had a large knife strapped to his hip.

Organizers of the ‘Justice for J6’ rally called for a peaceful event, but U.S. Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said on Friday that there had been threats of violence linked to the rally, some targeting individual members of Congress, and police were bracing for clashes.

Tony Smith, from Upper Marlboro, Maryland, said he had come to voice his support for a fair judicial process for those charged.

The 40-year-old explained: ‘If we don’t honour that we don’t honour America,’ carrying a placard that said ‘We Want Trump!’

More than 600 people have been charged with taking part in the violence, which followed a speech by Trump at a nearby rally repeating his false claims that widespread fraud was to blame for his election loss.

Those claims have been rejected by multiple courts, state election officials and members of Trump’s own administration.

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a webbrowser thatsupports HTML5video

Rioters went on to battle police – beating them with sticks and metal barricades – and smash their way through windows into the Capitol building, sending lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence running for safety.

Four people died on the day of the incident – one fatally shot by police and three from medical emergencies.

A Capitol Police officer who had been attacked by protesters died the day after and four police officers who took part in the defence of the Capitol later died by suicide.

Almost 50 people have so far pleaded guilty to charges related to the violence, with nine admitting to committing felonies. The vast majority of defendants have been released awaiting trial but about 75 are still in custody, according to court documents.

The crowd chanted: ‘let them go, let them go,’ during the rally, which lasted just over an hour.

But Eric Lamar, 64, a retired firefighter in Washington, D.C., said he came to the Capitol to counter ‘false narratives’ from Trump supporters.

Mr Lamar said ‘it breaks my heart’ to hear another retired firefighter claim that the riot was a ‘false flag’ – a conspiracy theory wrongly claiming that the event was staged.

‘There is no question that what happened on Jan. 6 is the work of supporters of Donald Trump who decided falsely and without evidence that the election was stolen.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Source: Read Full Article