Conservative groups claiming the Nov. 3 election was stolen from President Donald Trump staged protests across the country on Saturday, with one in Washington turning violent at times as police broke up sporadic clashes after dark.
Organizers of Stop The Steal, linked to pro-Trump operative Roger Stone, and religious groups urged supporters to participate in “Jericho Marches” and prayer rallies.
But groups of pro-Trump “Proud Boys” protesters and “Antifa” counter-protesters brawled in downtown Washington on Saturday night. Police moved in quickly to separate them, using pepper spray on members of both sides, Reuters witnesses said.
Earlier, police in riot gear and on bicycles kept the opposing demonstrators apart by blocking streets. After dark fell, the protesters – including members of the aggressive far-left Antifa – splintered into smaller groups to roam the streets in search of their rivals.
Protests were also held in other communities around the country, including Atlanta, Georgia, another state where Trump’s campaign has sought to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory, and Mobile, Alabama, according to local news coverage.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday rejected a long-shot lawsuit filed by Texas and backed by Trump seeking to throw out voting results in four states.
“Whatever the ruling was yesterday … everybody take a deep, deep breath,” retired Army General Mike Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, told protesters in front of the Supreme Court, referring to the court’s refusal to hear the Texas case.
“My charge to you is to go back to where you are from” and make demands, Flynn told the crowd, without being more specific. The U.S. Constitution is “not about collective liberty it is about individual liberties, and they designed it that way,” he said.
On his way to Andrews Air Force Base and then the Army-Navy football game in New York, President Trump made three passes in the Marine One helicopter over the cheering protesters.
Trump’s supporters carrying his campaign flags and signs marched between the Supreme Court, the Capitol and downtown Washington, which was closed to traffic by police vehicles and dump trucks.
As some in the crowd echoed far right conspiracy theories about the election, a truck-pulled trailer flew Trump 2020 flags and a sign reading “Trump Unity” while blaring the country song “God Bless the U.S.A.”
“It’s clear the election has been stolen,” said Mark Paul Jones of Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, who sported a tricorner Revolutionary War hat as he walked toward the Supreme Court with his wife.
Trump “is being railroaded out of office,” he said, adding that Biden won with the complicity of the Supreme Court, FBI, Department of Justice and CIA. The Supreme Court “didn’t even take the time to hear the case,” Jones said.
Eddy Miller of Philadelphia, who was selling Trump campaign T-shirts, said he was sure “there was fraud despite what I see on the news” about court rulings striking down fraud allegations.
BATTLE OF JERICHO
Some protesters referenced the Biblical miracle of the battle of Jericho, in which the walls of the city crumbled after soldiers and priests blowing horns marched around it.
In his speech, Flynn told the protesters they were all standing inside Jericho after breaching its walls.
“We believe what is going on in this county is an important thing. It’s a balance between biblical values and anti-biblical values,” Hazard said.