DC-based alternative journalist Ken Meyercord attended yesterday’s notorious pro-Trump election fraud protests—and says the mainstream media version is a gross distortion. Below is his written account. -KB
What I Saw at the “Stop the Steal” Rally
by Ken Meyercord (kiaskfm(at)verizon(dot)net)
As several of my readers… well, one, expressed appreciation for my report on the pro-Trump rally I attended shortly after the election, I thought I would share what I experienced at yesterday’s “Stop-the-Steal” protest in Washington. As to the size of the crowd, I’ve lived in DC for over 40 years now and am active in the antiwar movement, so I’ve attended many similar events, and this one was as big as any of them, including the post-Trump’s inaugural Women’s March, which is estimated to have attracted half a million. I won’t offer a number, as I never saw the crowd in its entirety and have no particular expertise in estimating crowd size. I’m sure we’ll hear estimates ranging from 50,000 to a million. It’s somewhere in there.
The rally started at 10 AM with speeches near the Washington Monument, where a platform and a screen had been set up. After listening to a couple of speeches, I headed towards Capitol Hill, to which the demonstrators were scheduled to march around noon. I got a bite to eat along the way, which wasn’t easy as most restaurants were closed, indoor dining being prohibited at this time. Eventually, I found a McDonald’s offering carry out. Neither the McDonald’s or nearby Starbuck’s had a functioning restroom (or so they said) and porta-potties were few and far between with long lines of squirming, bladder-about -to-burst customers, so I detoured to Union Station to answer nature’s call along the way to Capitol Hill.
I walked down Constitution Avenue, where barricades lined both sides of the street with police stationed every 5-10 yards. I learned from the police that the demonstrators would not be allowed to walk up the wide avenue but would be shunted onto the sidewalk. I asked if they were aware how big the crowd was and wished them best of luck with their plan. I also stopped to watch President Trump on a screen addressing the crowd back at the monument. After listening to him blather on in his rambling, incoherent, bombastic way for a few minutes, I proceeded to the back side of the Capitol (contrary to popular belief, the back side is the one facing the Mall).
The gigantic lawn in front of that side of the Capitol had been barricaded off, something I can’t recall ever being the case at any demonstration I have attended. There were only a few police manning the barricades; so, when the protestors started arriving (around 12:30) and soon filled the cramped space allotted to them, some bold souls jumped the barricades and were soon joined by the mass of chanting, flag-waving Trumpsters. (Let me be the first to propound a conspiracy theory, though it’s probably too late for that honor: the barricades were so lightly manned because the authorities wanted the protestors to breach them and get unruly to discredit the president and, by extension, all those who question the integrity of the election.)
[Full disclosure: I believe the vote was tampered with and have been amazed and appalled at the inability and/or unwillingness of anyone or any entity—state governors and legislatures, state and federal courts, the media—to even consider the possibility, much less do anything about it. I find the dismissive “no evidence of fraud”, “baseless claims” mantra repeated ad nauseum by media pundidiots as provoking as anything the president has said , since I’ve seen plenty of evidence and well-substantiated claims. Were I 40 years younger and gave more of a damn, I might be one of those on the front line storming the barricades myself (probably not).]
For the next hour (1-2 PM) there was a stand-off between the crowd at the bottom of the Capitol’s steps and the police. I can’t say what exactly was going on up there as I was far away. I imagine there was a lot of taunting of the police. I had spoken earlier to a young man in camouflage fatigues who expressed his contempt for authority and seemed itching for a fight. I saw a phalanx of Proud Boys—t he media’s favorite bete noire—but there were only 30 to 40 of them and they were nowhere near as dressed for combat as Antifa cadres usually are, the latter coming to such events sporting bicycle helmets, trash can-lid shields, and broom-handle batons. I can testify that during that hour a dozen or so flash-bang bombs were used, I assume by the police. To the extent the crowd was peaceably assembled “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” and the intention of the police in setting off the bombs was to intimidate and disperse them, it could be said the police were the first to break the law.
It was getting near my nap time and it didn’t look like anything of significance was going to happen (my usual, seer-like prescience), so I left around 2:15. I think that’s around the time the demonstrators forced their way into the Capitol, as my eyes burned slightly from tear gas as I left the Capitol grounds. I was halfway to the METRO station when I heard a cacophony of sirens and so I hurried back just in time to see a cavalcade of police vans arriving at the front (east side) of the Capitol. The steps on that side were occupied by protestors but I couldn’t tell whether they were entering the building. It didn’t look like it as they were just milling around, as were the police amongst them.
I never made it back to the lawn-side of the Capitol. It must have been something to see the police clear the building and especially the lawn, considering the size of the crowd. I’ve seen some footage of helmeted officers pushing down protestors who didn’t move fast enough and striking them while they were down—shades of Black Lives Matter “police brutality”. Speaking of which, despite all the frantic, lurid reporting making it sound like Attila the Hun and the Golden Horde were raping and pillaging, the folks who entered the Capitol building seem to have been remarkably well-behaved (other than being uninvited) compared to what we’ve seen at BLM protests: no graffiti-marred walls, no broken windows (well, one), no fires set, no statues overturned, no counter-protestor shot by a protestor (By the by, who is responsible for egging on the BLM-related protestors?).
I hope when things have calmed down and responsible, fair-minded leaders mull things over, they’ll remember not the miniscule percentage of the demonstrators who entered the Capitol but the hundreds of thousands who came from all over the country to vent their anger and, in their minds, save their country (If the election wasmeddled with, who then become the ones defending Democracy?).