The Wash
D.C. police shut down several streets as protesters donning MAGA hats marched from Freedom Plaza to as far as Tenleytown (Courtesy of a WLCTV Periscope).

Trump supporters swarm DC to protest election results

Thousands of people gathered on the streets of the Capitol to protest the election results, falsely claiming that President Trump won the election. Some groups showed up to counter-protest.

Thousands of supporters of President Trump from around the country crowded Freedom Plaza today to voice their dissent of the election.

Named the “Million MAGA March” and “Stop the Steal,” supporters at the event believe voter fraud played a role in the election, a claim that has been disproven by the Election Assistance Commission, the Department of Homeland Security and ABC News.

“We believe these votes on the last election on Nov. 3 were not legally counted,” Anna Boone, a political economist from North Carolina, said. “And that is our main directive: to make sure every legal vote is counted.”

Boone organized a Facebook event entitled “Nationwide Stop the Steal Protest” to encourage people to protest either in D.C. or in their own cities. Other Facebook groups advertising “Stop the Steal” have been taken down by Facebook and Eventbrite. One of the Facebook groups had amassed 320,000 members by Thursday morning when it was taken down, according to the New York Times.

“We encourage our organizers to express their views and gather for a chosen purpose as long as it’s done in a way that doesn’t violate our Terms of Service,” an Eventbrite worker said in an email to Amy Kremer, chair of Women for American First and one of the organizers for the march. “We do not permit events, content, or creators that share or promote potentially harmful misinformation.”

Despite the efforts by Eventbrite and Facebook, the weekend of protests continues. Far-right groups such as the Proud Boys, which President Trump told to “stand by” during a presidential debate, made a showing. Leftist groups such as Refuse Fascism, Antifa and Black Lives Matter showed up to counter-protest.

“Trumpism is real, and it scares the hell out of the left-wing party,” Boone said.

Boone said the most important part of the protest is to “expose the mockery of democracy” in this country.

“We can’t get the election right,” she said. “Our country has struggled with this every election even back to Al Gore. And we are tired.”

Brad Botwin, organization chair for the Montgomery County GOP, said people “want to show support for the president, the country.”

“People are still excited,” he said. “There’s lawsuits going on, there’s recounts going on. So a lot of people feel like they just want to do something.”

Multiple supporters spoke into megaphones at a rally on Friday. While the official Million MAGA March was Saturday, protests are planned for the whole weekend (Courtesy of a Ford Fischer Periscope).

Drew Satterfield, who lives in McLean, Virginia, and works in Sales Management, stopped by even though he said he’s a “big supporter but not too into the public demonstration aspect of it.”

“I think the goal is to show what the 70 plus million people who voted for him feel currently,” he said. 

President Trump drove through in a motorcade while on the way to his golf course in Virginia. 

“Heartwarming to see all of the tremendous support out there,” Trump said in a tweet.

For the rest of the weekend, and further down the line, Boone alludes to more protests.

“This will not be the last one,” she said, “because… this has multiple organizers… Our goal — my goal — was to provide a platform.”

Botwin and Sutterfield assured that they will be “friendly” to DC residents and counter-protesters.

“They’re not going to riot or loot, they’re going to have a friendly protest,” Botwin said. “We’re allowed. As Americans, we’re going to do these things.”

“He’s accomplished a lot,” Boone said. “He needs four more years to finish.”

Sarah Salem

Sarah Salem is on the international track in the Journalism and Public Affairs program. She is a 2019 graduate of William and Mary with a bachelor's in Economics and Russian & Post-Soviet Studies. She spent the past year working as an analyst for a defense contractor, where she analyzed and compiled news articles and social media mentions in Russian and in English for clients. In her free time, she likes to read about economics and the Israel-Palestine conflict, listen to or arrange music, or watch reality tv.

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