Smaller teams of counter demonstrators gathered downtown and close to the Supreme Court in help of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory — which the President has falsely described as fraudulent.
Many teams that attended the rally have distinct core beliefs, however on Saturday have been united in their unwavering help for the President. They included anti-government teams such because the Oath Keepers, far-right teams such because the Proud Boys and the Three Percenters, conspiracy theorists equivalent to Alex Jones and Republican members of Congress.
Word of at the least three completely different pro-Trump occasions circulated on social media in latest days — “Stop the Steal,” “March for Trump” and “Million MAGA March.” Throngs started pouring into Freedom Plaza, simply east of The White House, hours earlier than the noontime occasions.
Organizers for the “March for Trump” occasion — which obtained the allow for the rally — didn’t reply to CNN’s requests for remark.
Mainstream conservative voices and elected officers equivalent to Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania have been marketed as audio system for the “March for Trump” occasion.
While there had been warnings of potential violence, the day was peaceable with none main incidents. Washington, DC police instructed CNN they made some arrests, however did not say what number of.
To those that have been monitoring far proper and extremist teams for years, Saturday’s rally illustrates the thinning of a line between the mainstream proper and far-right extremists.
Oren Segal, vice chairman of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, mentioned he anticipated the overwhelming majority of members to be there solely to point out their help to Trump, however the occasion was a possibility for extremists to be mingling with that demographic.
“There’s a platform there, there are pro-Trump supporters and conservatives, and people who want to express their support for this President, who are going to be mingling, if you will, with extremists,” Segal mentioned.
Just as misinformation in regards to the elections made its manner from fringe platforms into the Twitter feeds of the President’s internal circle, Segal feared the Saturday march might have been its bodily manifestation, spreading not solely unsuitable info however hateful, extremist rhetoric.
“The fact that this sort of space is attracting those who buy into this idea that something is being stolen and taken away, and that extremists may be adjacent to them is a concern more broadly of the normalization of the extremists and of what could happen when you get a bunch of people together who are upset.”
CNN’s Ray Sanchez and Mallory Simon contributed to this report.