Smaller groups of counter demonstrators gathered downtown and close to the Supreme Court in support of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory — which the President has falsely described as fraudulent.
Anti-Trump protesters clashed with legislation enforcement Saturday evening in downtown DC as they tried to make their manner to a lodge the place Trump supporters are staying. Police pushed them back about a block, and the gang has now dwindled.
Many groups that attended the rally have distinct core beliefs, but on Saturday had been united of their unwavering support for the President. They included anti-government groups such as the Oath Keepers, far-right groups such as the Proud Boys and the Three Percenters, conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones and Republican members of Congress.
Word of a minimum of three totally different pro-Trump events circulated on social media in recent days — “Stop the Steal,” “March for Trump” and “Million MAGA March.” Throngs started pouring into Freedom Plaza, simply east of The White House, hours before the noontime events.
Organizers for the “March for Trump” event — which obtained the allow for the rally — didn’t reply to CNN’s requests for remark.
Mainstream conservative voices and elected officers such as Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania had been marketed as audio system for the “March for Trump” event.
While there had been warnings of potential violence, the day was peaceable with none main incidents. Washington, DC police told CNN they made some arrests, but did not say what number of.
To those that have been monitoring far right and extremist groups for years, Saturday’s rally illustrates the thinning of a line between the mainstream right and far-right extremists.
Oren Segal, vice chairman of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said he anticipated the overwhelming majority of members to be there solely to show their support to Trump, but the event was an alternative 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 said.
Just as misinformation concerning 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 wrong information but 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.