Tens of thousands of Trump supporters gathered in Washington, DC, on Saturday for a “Million MAGA March,” flocking the streets to protest the 2020 election results and falsely claiming that the president did not lose the election to Joe Biden.
Protesters carried large American flags and Trump banners, and despite the crowd and the alarming spike in coronavirus infection rates across the country, many were not masked as they chanted "stop the steal" and "four more years."
Early in the march, Trump's motorcade drove by his supporters on the way to his resort for another day of golfing. Videos show him waving and putting his thumbs up from the backseat of the car while fans chased after him on the street and cheered.
Trump and his campaign have repeatedly lied about widespread fraud in key swing states in the past week, citing it as the reason he lost the election. His campaign has filed lawsuits in several states challenging how votes were counted, and a number of them have already been tossed out by judges. The president has still refused to concede and has encouraged his supporters to do the same.
Those at the march on Saturday attacked everything from vote counting to Biden to Dr. Anthony Fauci, a public health expert whom Trump has repeatedly targeted. There were also many references to QAnon, the mass delusion that claims Trump is fighting a satanic cabal of elites who abuse children, and whose beliefs Trump himself has elevated.
Photos on Twitter show people holding signs that said “Arrest Fauci” and “Stop the Steal.” Some wore T-shirts praising a 17-year-old Trump supporter charged with murder for allegedly killing two people during a Black Lives Matter protest in Wisconsin. Footage that aired on Fox News showed one person carrying a sign that read, “Coming for Blacks and Indians first welcome to the new world order.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted that “more than one MILLION marchers” were present on Saturday, an exaggeration of the crowd size gleaned from photos and videos of the march.
Among those in attendance were Alex Jones, MyPillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell, and QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was recently elected to the US House of Representatives in Georgia. All three delivered speeches claiming Trump won the presidential race and falsely accused Democrats of trying to steal the election.
The Proud Boys, a far-right extremist men's organization founded by Gavin McInnes, were filmed marching alongside Jones, posing as his security. C-SPAN also aired footage of protesters chanting “Alex Jones” as they marched toward the Supreme Court.
“I want to tell you all you're incredible. The DC police are believing there’s upwards of 100,000 people lined all the way back from where we came from and more are coming,” Jones yelled at the crowd. “And this is just the beginning.”
He then led a chant repeating the year “1776,” which conservative academics have latched onto to counter to the New York Times Magazine’s Pulitzer Prize–winning 1619 Project, an ongoing initiative to reframe US history by addressing the role of slavery.
There were some small clashes between counterprotesters who showed up to the march Saturday, and Trump supporters, with counterprotesters chanting “Donald Trump is a loser” and "Trump, pack your shit! You're illegitimate!"
As the evening went on, tensions continued to rise between counterprotesters and Trump supporters, resulting in an increased police presence. Some counterprotesters lit Trump flags on fire, and a Trump supporter swung at a counterprotester with a pipe after they made fun of their MAGA hat. There were a number of other confrontations between scattered groups from the two camps.
Outside the Hilton DC, police deployed a chemical agent and made several arrests after officers and counterprotesters clashed.