Four people were stabbed at the Million MAGA March in Washington, DC over the weekend as Trump supporters continued their moonstruck campaign to overturn Biden’s election victory into the eleventh hour. Minor skirmishes also took place across the city as police failed to contain the upwelling of pro-Trump resentment in the aftermath of his election loss.
The stabbing took place outside a bar where the Proud Boys congregate in Washington. Video on social media showed an African-American man – later revealed to be 29 year-old Phillip Johnson of DC – being heckled by a large mob of Proud Boys. Right-wing media has tied Johnson to Antifa and BLM, though there is no evidence of his political affiliation at this stage.
Confronted with the mob, Johnson reveals a knife while slowly backing away, but is grabbed by the hair and then punched several times before lashing out with the knife. He is brought to the ground soon after and brutally beaten, before police intervene and arrest him.
In MAGA protests the same day in Olympia, WA, social media footage appears to show a MAGA supporter shooting a counter-protestor before fleeing the scene. The shooter was since identified as Seattle man 26-year-old Trump supporter Forest Michael Machala, who has been charged with attempted murder.
Multiple US media outlets reported on the dwindling numbers who attended this second Washington, DC rally, promoted as a campaign to “Stop the Steal.”
The crowd had a strong presence of priests, pastors and televangelists, one of whom appeared live on a jumbotron. Newly pardoned former general Michael Flynn also spoke at the rally. He urged the crowd to keep “faith” that there were still avenues for the Trump presidency to continue, and was received with shouts of “We love you, general.”
According to the Washington Post, the Proud Boys chanted “all lives matter” and “1776” and marched through the streets in military formation, a warning if ever there was one that fascist sentiment remains barely under the surface of American society.
Proud Boys tore down a Black Lives Matter banner from Asbury United Methodist Church (founded 1836), and burned it in the street. A BLM sign was also torn down from the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Bizarrely, Trump overflew the misleadingly named Million MAGA March in a marine helicopter. He then, of course, tweeted about it.
The MAGA crowd also refused to wear masks. The week prior, DC recorded its worst ever day for new Covid-19 cases, with 392 recorded.
The pro-Trump campaign combines laughable wingnut conspiracies with ominous threats of violence. The march website claims “the Republic” is being “stolen by communists from without and within or our votes altered or manipulated by foreign actors in China, Hong Kong, Iran, Venezuela, or Serbia.” I guess they figure it must be one of the “bad guys.”
They claim “[t]here are four boxes of liberty. The soapbox, the ballot box, the jury box, and the ammo box.” Now that votes have been “stolen” from the ballot box, they see themselves as turning to the jury box with legal challenges to the count, but the ammo box remains hovering in the background, their desperate last resort.
America could very well see more serious violence before the Biden presidency commences.