Trump supporters will gather Saturday in Washington, D.C., for the "Million MAGA March" and a "Stop the Steal" rally. Anarchist and anti-fascist groups have responded by planning counterprotests.
Pro-Trump groups from around the country will converge on the nation's capital this weekend to rally around President Donald Trump. The Trump supporters will assemble at noon Saturday at Freedom Plaza, near the White House and along the National Mall.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Thursday she expects the Million MAGA March to be "quite large."
Trump supporters had already gathered in D.C. on Friday afternoon, 24 hours before the Million MAGA March.
About to livestream here in front of White House. https://t.co/4iz24wA4Xw— Ford Fischer (@Ford Fischer)1605287379.0
"We want Trump! We want Trump!" Supporters of the president are already gathering in Washington DC outside the Whi… https://t.co/FnBGVu4dc5— Ford Fischer (@Ford Fischer)1605297987.0
On Friday afternoon, President Trump hinted that he may make an appearance at the event.
"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 tweeted. "This Election was Rigged, from Dominion all the way up & down!"
Heartwarming to see all of the tremendous support out there, especially the organic Rallies that are springing up a… https://t.co/eEg02NFGuh— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1605292554.0
Several counterprotests have been scheduled by left-wing groups.
Refuse Fascism, a self-described "national movement organizing to drive out the Trump/Pence regime," has scheduled its counterprotest to take place 30 minutes before the Trump rally at Freedom Plaza in an effort to "overwhelm" Trump supporters.
"We are gathering non-violently," Lucha Bright of Refuse Fascism told WUSA-TV. "We are not intending to engage them. We want to overwhelm them with our numbers. If they attack us, that is not out of the realm of possibilities of what they do. But we are hoping, especially if we gather in large numbers, that we will overwhelm them with our strength."
Andy Zee, a member of the Refuse Fascism Editorial Board, said, "We must not allow the Trump/Pence regime to illegitimately overturn this election. That is why it is so urgent that people come out on Saturday to say no to Trump still trying to steal the election."
"Trump and his minions LOST! Now they are planning a One Million MAGA March this Saturday in Washington D.C. We must STAND on our victory and not allow them to dominate the public discourse or the public square," the description of the counterprotest reads. "They are trying to steal the elections by sewing confusing about the election results & to intimidate people."
At the time of publication, only 19 people have signed up on the website to attend the event.
They/Them Collective, a self-described "anarchist abolitionist" group, has planned a "F*** MAGA" protest at noon Saturday at the Supreme Court, according to DCist. The invitation for the protest reads, "Last time white liberals told us to ignore the fash back in 2016 he became president for 3 years, 297 days, 6 hours, 49 minutes, 48 seconds." The group encourages participants to "wear black."
All Out D.C., a "collective of D.C. antifascist activists" aiming to "burn down the American plantation," planned a noon protest Saturday to "defend D.C. from white nationalism and secure a trump-free future." The group advocates attendees "wear black to show solidarity."
The right-wing Proud Boys group, self-described "western chauvinists," will also be at the Million MAGA March. Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio told CBS News, "We're known for fighting back. I'm not going to hide that, I'm not going to apologize for it."
"There's 70 million pissed off Americans and not one building has been burned down. I think if the president wouldn't won that night, there would have been chaos," Tarrio said of Election Day results.
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said police would be out in numbers to ensure peaceful First Amendment demonstrations.
"We continue to follow those activities and be prepared for those activities," Bowser told reporters on Tuesday. "Our police chief will have a similar posture this weekend as he did last week. And we will be there to support peaceful exercise of First Amendment demonstrations.
"The gun laws here are different than in other places. People who have a permit to carry a weapon can carry a weapon," she added. "We call it a concealed carry permit."