According to a flyer on the Trump March website, Trump supporters plan to hold a rally in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6- the day Congress formally counts the electoral college votes.
Next Wednesday’s quick evolution from formality to protest is the result of Trump’s refusal to concede his loss to President-elect Joe Biden. The 12th amendment requires Congress to meet in joint session to count the electoral college votes and declare a presidential winner.
Although Trump lost the electoral vote 306 to 232, several of his supporters suggested that he could make a final effort to overturn the results by getting members of Congress to challenge Biden’s electors at the Jan. 6 meeting.
Last week, President Trump sent out a tweet, predicting a “wild” protest in the District on Jan. 6.
This week, Women for America First, a political organization for women (and men) who support the America First agenda and were the center of organizing the “Stop the Seal” rally in November, requested a protest permit for next Wednesday. The group estimates 5,000 people will attend the rally, which they plan to hold at Freedom Plaza.
Chat forums used by far-right groups such as Gab, Parler and Telegram, have already filled with conversations on the January rally.
Many have already pledged to attend, including The Proud Boys, members of armed right-wing groups, conspiracy theorists and white supremacists.
Wednesday’s event is to begin at noon and last until 5 p.m.
On the event website, a flier for the rally says, “the president is calling on us to come back to Washington on Jan. 6 for a big protest — ‘be there, will be wild.’”
The U.S. Park Service has yet to grant the group’s rally request, but it is common to not issue permits until the week of the event.
When the application asked if it is expected that any “individual, group, or organization might seek to disrupt” the protest, organizers answered, “anyone who opposes conservatives, Trump supporters, or Republicans.”
One Park official revealed that organizers had initially requested space at Freedom Plaza to stage a protest following Biden’s inauguration, but rising chatter about Jan. 6 led the organization to change its plans.
The Trump March website said they will be releasing additional information on the upcoming march, which is thier effort to “demand transparency and protect the election integrity.”
Experts on far-right movements fear that the January rally could instigate further violence.
The ‘Million MAGA March’ that happened in the District in November, which was held to protest Trump’s loss in the 2020 election, led to chases with the police and confrontations between pro-Trump supporters and counter-protesters.
According to D.C. Police, four people were stabbed at the intersection of 11th Street and F street in downtown D.C., eight police officers were injured in connection to the demonstrations and there were 33 “un-related” arrests.
Heidi Beirich, founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism stated that she is worried about the street battles “getting more fierce and more aggressive.”
The gathering on Jan. 6 will be the third pro-Trump rally in less than two months.