Thousands of Trump supporters gathered in Washington D.C. on November 14th to exercise their constitutional rights–freedom of assembly, freedom of speech. The “Million MAGA March,” as it came to be called, drew support from a wide swath of conservative organizations including The White House, viral campaigners, far-right groups, and average Republican voters. Participants in the MAGA Million March rallied to protest the November 3rd election results, which has not been officially validated at the state or federal level but will certify former Vice President Joe Biden as the presidential victor (barring long-shot court cases submitted by Trump).
They/Them Collective organized the “F*ck MAGA” counter-protest in front of the Supreme Court as documented in this HEADLINE article. All Out D.C. and Refuse Fascism also organized counter-protests on Saturday in DC.
Some of the groups reportedly represented: Three Percenters, Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, QAnon proponents, Alex Jones, Infowars’s Owen Schroyer, Women for America First, the Right Side Broadcasting Network, and others. This diverse range of political affiliations was also reflective in the name(s) given to the pro-Trump rallies that took place in DC. Examples include “Proclaim Freedom Crusade”, “Stop the Steal Rally”, “March for Trump”, and the widely used “Million MAGA March”. Several counter-protests were also planned in advance of Saturday as well:
According to Politico, some White Nationalist groups were also represented, namely Groyper. “Nick Fuentes, a prominent white nationalist who leads the group Groyper Army, has organized a series of rallies across swing states, culminating in a D.C. gathering on Saturday.”
Politico qualified the marginal involvement of White Nationalists however, including the following statement by Jared Holt, a visiting fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab, which monitors online extremism and disinformation.
“Everybody who comes to this will certainly not be an extremist,” said Jared Holt, a visiting fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab, which monitors online extremism and disinformation. “But this event is generating a fair amount of chatter in extremist communities online that we’re monitoring.”
During the early hours of The Million Maga March, Trump supporters and counter-protesters exercised their constitutional rights with only minor incidents of social unrest. Most protesters and counter-protesters assembled peacefully, making statements, delivering impassioned speeches, and displaying a degree of solidarity. The local D.C. police were initially effective at keeping the peace, but as the day wore on, tensions simmered, before finally boiling over.
A conservative activist from Yakima, Washington–Lisa Homer, provided most of the images and videos for this HEADLINE article as well as an account of contextual events. She elaborated on the Million MAGA March, the initial confrontation with Antifa in front of the Supreme Court, and the events leading up to violence at night.
Homer also strongly refuted an accusation circulating in the media (first reported by The Washington Post) that one of the Antifa counter-protesters was stabbed by a member of the Proud Boys. Homer claimed that the Antifa counter-protester who was allegedly stabbed was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time.
Homer placed the blame for tension in DC squarely on Antifa, claiming that they (the Antifa members) instigated violence that rapidly spread throughout the city. Isolated incidents of violent clashes with Antifa were played and replied in the media and online. As day turned to night, Antifa supporters escalated the violence, throwing fireworks at Trump supporters and diners on K-Street (not far from the White House). The conservative from Yakima also revisited the optical pain she endured–being attacked with projectiles and pepper-spray filled water bottles after 50-200 Antifa members descended on her hotel, The Grand Hyatt DC.
Homer’s hotel, where many prominent Trump supporters were staying, would go on to become a major site of unrest in DC as the night wore on.
Although civil unrest went largely unchecked on Saturday night, no lives were lost and no one (reportedly) was seriously injured. Lisa Homer emerged from the Grand Hyatt on Sunday morning relatively unscathed, apart from the trace effects of large-quantity pepper spray. Before wrapping her story with HEADLINE, Homer brought attention to Justin Monelt (a member of the Proud Boys). She was not with Monelt when he was attacked by Antifa, but the images she saw and first-hand accounts she heard were troubling enough.
“The viciousness of the attack was upsetting to witness, but even more troubling, was the hostility, the unbridled hatred directed at a fellow American.”