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.”
THE MARCH IS NOT CANCELED
First it was @Facebook
Next it was @Mailchimp
But we won’t let them pic.twitter.com/zYfRM3swfN
— Amy Kremer (@AmyKremer) November 10, 2020
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.
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) November 14, 2020
Unrest breaks out in DC as Antifa confront MAGA marchers pic.twitter.com/MDSpyZ8Pp5
— The Stark Naked Brief. (@StarkNakedBrief) November 14, 2020
“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.”
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.
Heartwarming to see all of the tremendous support out there, especially the organic Rallies that are springing up all over the Country, including a big one on Saturday in D.C. I may even try to stop by and say hello. This Election was Rigged, from Dominion all the way up & down!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2020
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.”