Article and Photos by Alejandro Alvarez
Video and Livestream by Ford Fischer
Hundreds of Trump supporters took to the streets in downtown Washington, DC on Saturday morning, a move meant to convey support for the new president among a surge in left-wing activism.
Amid recent controversies stemming from alleged Russian meddling to aid President Trump’s election, Trump allies converged on a number of cities across the country in grassroots-organized “Spirit of America” rallies. Numbering about 300 Trump supporters at its peak, the DC rally was among the largest of a national wave of protests collectively dubbed “March4Trump.”
The main event, organized by Gays for Trump’s Peter Boykin and featuring singer Joy Villa and fashion designer Andre Soriano, gathered in the shadow of Washington Monument with Trump banners, campaign posters, and “March4Trump” shirts. About two dozen counter-protesters, some clad in the all-black wardrobe common among antifa protesters, stood to the side separated from the main event by park police. Though there was plenty of shouting between both sides, and two brief scuffles, there were no arrests and the event remained overall peaceful.
“First of all, they’re the true fascists, as the talking point goes,” said one March4Trump participant, asked about his reaction to the small group of counter-protesters gathered nearby. “Second of all, this is the weakest showing I’ve ever seen. I am here hoping I would be able to be on the front lines or whatever.”
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“I protested Obama too,” a counter-protester said. “Trump’s situation is a lot more serious because he’s a textbook fascist – look up what’s happening in Turkey, what happened in Nazi Germany too.”
Though Saturday’s pro-Trump action managed to number in the several hundred at its peak, large conservative rallies are relatively rare in the District, which has overwhelmingly voted Democratic in every presidential election in the modern era. The March4Trump is the first significant pro-Trump action in DC after the election. The nation’s capital has seen a number of large anti-Trump demonstrations in the three months since, including the Women’s March and inauguration day protests.