Conservative teams protesting towards US president-elect Joe Biden’s election victory gathered for protests throughout the nation on Saturday, together with in Washington the place far-right teams clashed with counter-protesters regardless of a heavy police presence.
Organizers of Cease The Steal, who allege with out proof that the three November election win was tainted by fraud, and church teams urged supporters to take part in “Jericho Marches” and prayer rallies.
However in downtown Washington, tensions rose after darkish as scores of pro-Trump “Proud Boys” protesters and “Antifa” counterprotesters confronted off, separated by police in riot gear and on bicycles.
Round 200 members of the Proud Boys, a violent far-right group, had joined the marches earlier on Saturday close to the Trump resort within the capital. Many wore fight fatigues and ballistic vests, carried helmets and flashed hand alerts utilized by white nationalists.
The 2 teams shouted insults at one another throughout a road close to McPherson Sq. and a few set off fireworks, however police stored them aside.
Police pepper-sprayed no less than two counter-protesters earlier than the Proud Boys left the world and regrouped a number of blocks away.
Protests had been additionally deliberate in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada and Arizona, the place Trump’s marketing campaign has sought to overturn vote counts.
Greater than 50 federal and state court docket rulings have upheld Biden’s victory. The US supreme court docket on Friday rejected a long-shot lawsuit filed by Texas and backed by Trump looking for to throw out voting leads to 4 states.
“Regardless of the ruling was yesterday … everyone take a deep, deep breath,” retired military basic Mike Flynn, Trump’s former nationwide safety adviser, instructed protesters in entrance of the supreme court docket, referring to the court docket’s refusal to listen to the Texas case.
Flynn who twice pleaded responsible to mendacity to the FBI about contacts with the previous Russian ambassador, spoke in his first public handle since Trump pardoned him in November.
“My cost to you is to return to the place you’re from” and make calls for, Flynn instructed the gang, with out being extra particular. The US structure is “not about collective liberty it’s about particular person liberties, and so they designed it that method”, he stated.
Trump has refused to concede defeat, alleging with out proof that he was denied victory by huge fraud. On his technique to Andrews air drive base after which to the annual Military-Navy soccer sport in New York, Trump made three passes within the Marine One helicopter over the cheering protesters.
Trump’s supporters carrying flags and indicators made their method in small knots towards Congress and the supreme court docket by means of downtown Washington, which was closed to site visitors by police autos and dump vehicles.
Few of the marchers wore masks, regardless of hovering Covid-19 deaths and circumstances, defying a mayoral directive for them to be worn outdoors. A number of thousand folks rallied in Washington, fewer than throughout an analogous protest final month.
As some within the crowd echoed far proper conspiracy theories concerning the election, a truck-pulled trailer flew Trump 2020 flags and an indication studying “Trump Unity” whereas blaring the nation track “God Bless the USA”.
“It’s clear the election has been stolen,” stated Mark Paul Jones of Delaware Water Hole, Pennsylvania, who sported a tricorner revolutionary war-era hat as he walked towards the supreme court docket along with his spouse.
Some protesters referenced the Biblical miracle of the battle of Jericho, through which the partitions of town crumbled after troopers and clergymen blowing horns marched round it.
In his speech, Flynn instructed the protesters they had been all standing inside Jericho after breaching its partitions.
Ron Hazard of Morristown, New Jersey, was one in all 5 individuals who stopped on the justice division to blow shofars – a ram’s horn utilized in Jewish non secular ceremonies – to deliver down “the religious partitions of corruption”.
“We consider what’s going on on this county is a crucial factor. It’s a steadiness between biblical values and anti-biblical values,” Hazard stated.