As Trump refuses to concede defeat, far-right groups plan show of support in Washington

November 14, 2020 - 14:29

Far-right groups and other backers of U.S. President Donald Trump plan to rally in Washington on Saturday in a public show of support for his unsubstantiated claim of widespread voting fraud in the Nov. 3 election.

Republican Trump has refused to accept that he lost the election to Democrat Joe Biden, now president-elect, adding to tensions. Trump’s supporters, including Republican lawmakers, have amplified his claims that the election was stolen from him.

The protests in the nation’s capital will bring together far-right personalities, including conspiracy theorist and Infowars broadcaster Alex Jones and self-described “American Nationalist” Nicholas Fuentes. The Oath Keepers militia and the far-right Proud Boys have also said their members are attending. Some left-wing groups are planning counterdemonstrations.

In addition to the Washington event, pro-Trump protests and counterprotests are planned in other major cities around the country, Reuters reported. 

“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,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday.

Law enforcement had warned of potential violence around the election, including from extremist groups, which so far has not come to pass. Experts on extremist groups said that the Washington demonstrations had the potential to become violent if protesters clashed with counterprotesters.

Christopher Rodriguez, Washington’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management director, said his agency was tracking about a dozen groups each made up of “about a dozen” people who had indicated they would attend on Saturday.

“I don’t want anyone to think we are talking about large numbers of folks,” he said at a news conference on Thursday.

Rodriguez stressed that those attending the rallies would not be allowed to carry weapons. “Violence will not be tolerated,” he said.

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