Conservative groups protesting US President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory rallied to protests across the country on Saturday, including in Washington where far-right groups clashed with anti-protesters despite a heavy police presence.
“Stop theft” organizers, who claim without evidence that the November 3 election victory is tainted by fraud, and church groups have urged supporters to participate in “Jericho rallies” and prayer rallies.
But in central Washington, tensions escalated after dark as dozens of pro-Trump protesters faced “proud boys” and anti-“Antifa” protesters, separated by police in riot gear and on bikes.
About 200 members of the Proud Boys, a violent far-right group, joined the rallies earlier on Saturday near the Trump Hotel in the capital. Many of them wore combat uniforms and bullet-proof vests, and carried helmets and flashing hand signals used by white nationalists.
The two groups shouted insults at each other across a street near Macpherson Square and some set off fireworks, but the police turned them away.
Police sprayed at least two opposition protesters with pepper before the proud boys left the area and regrouped several streets away.
Protests were also planned in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada and Arizona, as the Trump campaign sought to cancel the vote count.
Over 50 federal and state court rulings It endorsed Biden’s victory. On Friday, the US Supreme Court rejected a A long-running lawsuit filed by Texas With support from Trump, he seeks to rule out the results of the vote in four states.
“Whatever the ruling was yesterday … everyone takes a deep, deep breath,” retired General Mike Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, told the protesters in front of the Supreme Court, referring to the court’s refusal to hear the Texas case.
Flynn, who has twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about communications with the former Russian ambassador, spoke in his first public address. Since Trump pardoned him in November.
“It’s my job on you to get back to where you are” and make the demands, Flynn told the audience without being more specific. He said that the US Constitution “is not about collective freedom but about individual freedoms, and they designed it this way.”
Trump card He refused to admit defeat, Claiming without evidence that he was denied victory by mass fraud. On his way to Andrews Air Force Base and then to the annual football match between the Army and Navy in New York, Trump made three passes in the Marine One helicopter over the jubilant protesters.
Trump supporters, carrying flags and banners, slashed their way with small knots toward Congress and the Supreme Court through downtown Washington, which police cars and garbage trucks closed to traffic.
Few protesters wore masks, despite the high number of deaths and injuries from the Covid-19 virus, in defiance of the mayor’s directives that they should be worn outside. Several thousand people gathered in Washington, fewer than during a similar protest last month.
While some in the crowd echoed the far-right conspiracy theories about the election, a truck trailer raised Trump 2020 flags and a banner reading “Trump Unity” while singing the country song “God bless the United States.”
“It’s clear that the election was stolen,” said Mark Paul Jones of the Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, who wore a war-era tri-angular hat as he walked toward the Supreme Court with his wife.
Some of the protesters pointed to the Biblical miracle of the Battle of Jericho, as the city walls collapsed after soldiers and priests marched trumpets around them.
In his speech, Flynn told the protesters that they had all been standing inside Jericho after breaking its walls.
Ron Hazard of Morristown, New Jersey, was one of five people who stopped by the Department of Justice to blow up the chofar – a ram horn used in Jewish religious ceremonies – to bring down “spiritual walls of corruption.”
“We think what is going on in this county is important. It’s a balance between biblical values and anti-biblical values,” Hazard said.