WASHINGTON, DC – Hordes of Trump supporters gathered in this city on Wednesday morning in an effort to somehow deny the victory of President-elect Joe Biden, hours before Congress was ready to certify the results and make Biden’s victory even more irreversible.
The rally marked the most desperate effort to date by disillusioned and enraged Trump supporters, who are waging a months-long campaign of disinformation and violence in tandem with a president who refuses to give in to reality.
Thousands of Trump supporters made their way to the Ellipse, a park near the White House, early in the morning for the chance to see the president himself speak, with hundreds lining up as early as 5:30 a.m.
Long Island Trump supporter Carmelo Prochilo said he came to Washington because he was “fed up with the bullshit,” explaining that he became convinced the election was stolen by reading the newspaper. far right Epoch Times and other sites.
“They better start worrying about the 80 million people who voted for Trump and are armed,” Prochilo, draped in a flag promoting the Second Amendment, told the Daily Beast. “It will be a second American revolution.”
Trump was scheduled to speak to his supporters around 11 a.m., while other protesters planned to rally outside Congress at 1 p.m. as lawmakers count the electoral vote, which has already been certified in each state.
The prospect of violence loomed over Wednesday’s rally, particularly after four people were stabbed following a pro-Trump rally in Washington in December. Posters on pro-Trump forums like “The Donald” frequently discussed violating Washington’s gun laws and even police attacks, as protesters arriving early Tuesday strolled the city in life jackets. bulletproof.
At least one relevant figure has already been ordered by a court to stay outside of Washington. Police in the District of Columbia on Monday arrested Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio for destroying property related to the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner during a pro-Trump protest in December. Tarrio carried two gun magazines with the Proud Boys branding, and now faces felony charges for gun accessories. Tarrio was released Tuesday, but banned from returning to Washington under almost any circumstance, including Wednesday’s rallies.
Members of Congress have been urged to use the Capitol Complex’s tunnel system to avoid protesters, some of whom have discussed a pipe-dreaming attempt to block the House and Senate to prevent the electoral vote count. Trump appeared to signal the potential for violence and even welcomed the possibility of his supporters bullying Republican lawmakers into backing his attempt to steal the election from Biden.
“I hope the Democrats, and more importantly the weak and ineffective RINO section of the Republican Party, watch the thousands of people flocking to DC” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “They won’t want a landslide election victory stolen.”
Trump’s leading allies and grassroots supporters have claimed millions of his constituents will rally in Washington to oppose Biden’s victory. But Tuesday’s pro-Trump events drew relatively small crowds, suggesting Wednesday’s turnout may not significantly exceed the crowd size of previous post-election MAGA raids in Washington.
While previous post-election rallies featured many Trump supporters who were still convinced he could secure an election victory under the auspices of legality, the mood ahead of Wednesday’s rally was the one of the last desperate attempts to save the United States.
Or at least Trumpism.
Throughout Tuesday, speakers compared Trump’s supporters in Washington to George Washington’s Revolutionary War soldiers when they launched a surprise attack on British forces encamped across the Delaware River in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1776.
At a rally near the White House at Freedom Plaza in Washington, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn – recently pardoned by the president for lying to the FBI – vowed that the rallies would oppose the efforts of Congress to count Biden’s electoral votes.
“Tomorrow we, the people we’re going to be here, and we want you to know that we won’t stand up for a lie,” Flynn said.
Few of the rally participants on Tuesday wore masks or practiced social distancing, in keeping with the MAGA world’s general approach to the pandemic, both at Trump’s bona fide events and quasi-official gatherings.
At the Freedom Plaza rally on Tuesday, podcaster Clay Clark urged members of the public to kiss a stranger in defiance of Covid-19 warnings.
“It’s a mass broadcast event, it’s a mass broadcast event!” Clark sung.
No matter what happens on the streets of Washington on Wednesday, Trump has no chance of overturning the election results. But even as they transition from failed legal maneuvers to more comprehensive street warfare, the president and his staunch supporters remain convinced he will be in the White House for another term.
Addressing a rally outside Congress, MyPillow founder and Trumpworld hero Mike Lindell said he spoke with Trump on Friday and found the president confident he would not step down.
“He is 100% convinced that he is our president for four more years,” said Lindell.
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