On Saturday, September 24, a coalition of Black self-defense groups led by the Elmer Geronimo Pratt Gun Club held their third annual “Second Amendment Unity March” to the State Capitol in Austin, Texas, a journey that would cause them to cross paths with an unfamiliar crowd: supporters of January 6 defendants.
Beginning their march at a library, the group made clear that their primary demand was reparations for descendants of enslaved people in the United States.
While calling for reparations, the group also advocated against illegal immigration. Upon arriving at the Capitol, the group came upon a rally supporting January 6 defendants.
The “Solidarity for J6” rally speakers attempted at first to offer welcome, which was not as warmly received. Eric Braden leads the “Southern Patriot Council” and has participated in numerous armed actions leading up to and following the events of January 6.
On Saturday, Eric introduced himself to Nick Bezel, Founder and Chairman of the Elmer Geronimo Pratt Gun Club.
As the rally took place, tensions formed between the two sides.
Atatiana Jefferson is a Texan woman who was shot by a police officer through the window of her own home in 2019. The officer who killed her currently awaits a murder trial.
Eric Braden attempted to compare her death to that of Ashli Babbitt, shot while climbing through a window in the United States Capitol, which was swiftly rejected by the Black self-defense groups.
The pro-J6 defendants rally was held in conjunction with a similar rally taking place in DC, featuring Nicki Whitthoeft, the mother of Ashli Babbitt.
The Texas group played a message from Whitthoeft at their rally.
Meanwhile the Black self-defense groups brought attention to a case they care about. Marvin Guy has been held in jail for eight years without trial after police raided his home.
Guy is accused of shooting a police officer, but says he didn’t know it was law enforcement entering his home.
State troopers watched the situation but did not intervene as tensions flared between the two groups.
Eventually, the Elmer Geronimo Pratt Gun Club and their allies marched away. No violence occurred.
While the group is known for exercising their First and Second Amendments on the street, Nick Bezel says he plans to take their agenda to the State House early next year.