Proud Boys flock to Washington 'incognito' for Jan. 6 protests
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The far-right, male-only group, the Proud Boys, will descend onto Washington, D.C., in protest the same day Congress plans to certify Electoral College votes, officially confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
Though the group will not wear its usual black and yellow colors Jan.6, the Washington Times first reported that the leader of the group, Enrique Tarrio, said members would dress "incognito," in Antifa’s traditional all-black apparel.
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"We will spread across downtown DC in smaller teams," Tarrio wrote on the social media platform, Parler.
"And who knows….we might dress in all BLACK for the occasion," he added.
Congress is expected to certify the election’s results, despite several GOP lawmakers saying they will object to certain state’s votes if an emergency 10-day audit is not first completed.
The calls to object have been spearheaded by Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and are based on allegations of voter fraud and changes states made to mail-in voting rules during the coronavirus pandemic.
President Trump has continued to allege voter fraud related to mail-in voting, but the Supreme Court has refused two cases from the Trump campaign, and more than 50 lawsuits have been dismissed in lower courts across the nation.
Polls still show, however, that many Republican voters believe the election was "rigged."
Trump in turn has urged supporters to protest the Jan. 6 Senate vote. He has tweeted out rally details and prompted numerous groups to meet in D.C. to pressure Republicans to object to the Electoral College vote.
"The BIG Protest Rally in Washington, D.C., will take place at 11.00 A.M. on January 6th," Trump said Friday. "Locational details to follow. StopTheSteal!"
The Proud Boys made headlines last summer, clashing with Antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters in the aftermath of George Floyd's death while in police custody in Minneapolis.
Some protests across the country turned violent and demonstrations continued for months. Following the election, pro-Trump supporters launched Stop the Steal protests fueled by the president’s continued claims that the election was "stolen" from him.
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Last month, four people were stabbed and 33 arrested after pro-Trump supporters clashed with counterprotesters in the nation’s capital as people gathered in front of the Supreme Court and at Freedom Plaza.
Videos surfaced showing D.C. police attempting to control Proud Boys and Antifa fights across the city, resulting in the hospitalization of at least two police officers.
At least four protests are planned on Jan. 6 by different pro-Trump groups, including by Women for America First, and the Eighty Percent Coalition – a new group formed following reports that the majority of Republicans think the election was "rigged."
Threats of violence, and plans to bring firearms into the District and set up an "armed encampment" on the Mall have surfaced in online forums, reported The Washington Post.
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The Metropolitan Police Department announced road closures from Jan. 5-7 in anticipation of the protests and said vehicles will be restricted for "public safety."
The department also reminded the public Thursday that carrying a firearm "within 1,000 feet of any First Amendment activity," including "members of the public who have been issued a Concealed Carry Permit in the District of Columbia," is strictly prohibited.
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