Experts warned that some right-wing extremists may appear at a rally in Washington, DC to support President Donald Trump.
According to reports from several social media, the names of multiple events will include “Million MAGA March”, “Stop The Steal” and “March for Trump” on Saturday, which will be held at Liberty Square around noon on Saturday. According to data from the Anti-Defamation League, as of Tuesday, at least 24 Facebook incidents used one or two.
Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Metropolitan Police Department said they were monitoring the incident but would not provide crowd estimates. The leftist organization plans to conduct at least one counter-protest.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, organizers are promoting the event to protest “voter fraud”, “express support for our president” and “demand for free and fair elections.” Trump refused to admit and file unfounded accusations of voter fraud, falsely claiming that the election was his stolen.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, although the rallies are not considered extreme events, they have aroused heated debate among right-wing circles on social media including Parler and Telegram.
Oren Siegel, the vice president of ADL’s Center for Extremism, said that he does not want to be held like a women’s march after Trump’s election, and he does not think the incident will inevitably lead to a threat to public safety. The incident will attract a large number of Crowd.
Siegel said: “Who actually shows up remains to be seen.” “The danger here is that extremists and non-extremists have the same ideas, the same ideology, and the same ideas.”
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The only permit applications approved to participate in Saturday events are Cindy Chafian and Women for America First, with an estimated 10,000 people participating.
The organization said the speakers at their event included Republican Representative Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania and Paul Gossall of Arizona. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a supporter of the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon; former Trump counter-terrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka is suspected of being involved in an anti-Semitic group in Hungary Connected.
Amy Kremer, chairperson of Women First in America, said her organization did not coordinate with other groups that plan to conduct simultaneous activities. She hopes that people can participate from all over the country, but there is no crowd estimate.
Some of the active Facebook groups and Twitter pages have thousands of followers. National Park Service estimates show that the square can only accommodate 13,000 people.
However, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News on Thursday that she expected “very high” turnout in Saturday’s rally.
After being asked about the event, McCartney said: “People want to show up and hear their voices.”
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Facebook previously shut down a fast-growing pro-Trump “Stop Stealing” organization that was used to organize protests against “worrying calls for violence.”
Eventbrite deleted several event pages related to these gatherings and refunded tickets. A spokesperson said that the site prohibits the sharing of potentially harmful misinformation or incidents, content or creators that contribute to the risk of violence.
According to Angelo Carusone, president of the media watchdog United States Media Affairs Organization, the incident appears to have originated from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who urged his followers to go after the election. District of Columbia.
Jones’ website InfoWars announced plans to take off-road caravans through Houston and Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Atlanta; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Virginia Richmond State.
Carusone estimated on Friday that the caravan currently attracts about 10 people.
Carusson said that other groups, including white nationalists and armed extremist groups, subsequently announced their intention to join. According to ADL, Enrique Tarrio, president of the Pride Boys Club, announced that his group will participate, and the anti-government extremist organization Oath Keepers called on volunteers to join forces with their leader Stewart Rhodes Rhodes) participate in activities together.
Carusone said: “This is a temporary combination of extremists, greedy people, and some online right-wing media figures who hope to spark a spark.” “In essence, it’s as if online comment trolls just decided to come to life.”
Carusson said that although he does not expect the rally to attract a large number of people, he is worried that groups like “Pride Boys” may try to contend with rebellious protesters to provoke a battle. However, he said that if mainstream right-wing media and figures such as the president start to promote the event, it could attract thousands.
Trump said he might block the rally in a tweet on Friday.
He said: “I am very happy to see all the huge support there, especially the organic rally that is emerging across the country, including the big rally in Washington on Saturday.”
A left-wing organization called “Reject Fascism” stated that it will hold a rally in Freedom Square 30 minutes before the “March of the Millions” March, which may cause conflict.
Sunsara Taylor, one of the co-sponsors of the organization, said: “We will conduct large-scale non-violent protests.” “We will do so safely, but we will not be intimidated or flinched. Because a bunch of people were unable to reconcile their fascist program, they were rejected.”
Alaina Gertz, a spokesperson for the District of Columbia Police, said they are aware of the planned activities but will not provide an estimate of the number of people.
The police issued a notice stating that some roads will be closed and parking will be restricted in the downtown area of Washington, D.C., and remind the public that it is prohibited to carry guns within 1,000 feet of any protest, including guns with a concealed carrying permit.
Gates said: “We will continue to monitor and evaluate each activity and plan accordingly with our federal law enforcement partners.”
Mayor Muriel Bowser said on Tuesday that despite the upcoming rally, she still suggested that business owners should remove the plywood they used to board storefronts to prepare for potential election violence. She said her team is also monitoring reports of the caravan.
When asked about the rally, Bowser said: “We will continue to watch these events and prepare for them.” “Our police chief will take a similar posture this weekend as last week, where we will support peace. Implementation of the first amendment demonstration.”
Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg
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