(Annie Black) – Forty-eight months ago I traveled to Washington, DC for the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Forty-eight hours ago, I was again in our nation’s capital for the national “Stop the Steal” rally.
I’ve attended over a dozen Trump rallies over the past few years, including the one in Bullhead City in October. They’ve been nothing but peaceful, fun events. Wednesday’s started out that way…but went horribly and tragically wrong.
To be clear, Americans came to DC from all over the country to express frustration with and opposition to the manner in which the 2020 election was conducted. This was not an act of “sedition” or “insurrection,” but an exercise of our fundamental free speech rights as U.S. citizens.
The same free speech rights claimed by Black Lives Matter protestors throughout the summer.
Sadly, I noticed a handful of people in the crowd acting very differently from the people at the previous rallies I attended. More animated; “amped up.” These guys seemed pre-disposed to turn this event into something it was never intended to be.
And contrary to media reporting, it wasn’t because of anything the President said in his remarks at The Ellipse. In fact, here’s what the President actually said…
“So we’re going to — we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I love Pennsylvania Avenue. And we’re going to the Capitol. And we’re going to try and give — the Democrats are hopeless, they never voted for anything. Not even one vote. But we’re going to try and give our Republicans – the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help – we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I want to thank you all. God bless you and God Bless America.”
“Let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.” Hardly a call for “sedition” and “insurrection.”
Anyway, because of the size of the crowd near the Ellipse, it was impossible to get close enough to see and hear the President speak. But we’d heard he was also going to do a second speech at the Capitol.
So we made our way directly to the east side of the building, across from the Supreme Court, hoping to get a good spot early. When we arrived, there was a guy near the barricades broadcasting the President’s Ellipse speech through a bullhorn.
Shortly after the President finished speaking, someone at the fence line started shouting to “storm the barrier.”
A man to the right of us – dressed in all-black but wearing a MAGA hat with a rainbow Trump flag draped around his shoulders like a cape – started shouting through a megaphone: “This is your house! They can’t stop you from going in there!”
It was clearly an orchestrated effort, egging people on to storm the Capitol. But a group of people, who could see the instigators at the barrier to the right of us, started chanting, “They’re not MAGA!”
A family up front who could see what was going on was yelling “We don’t do this! Stop! This isn’t what we do!” while telling people to take a piece of the barricade that had been removed back to the fence line.
Next thing you know, people started breaking through the barrier. At that point, we moved away and back toward the Supreme Court.
“We all had a choice when that fence came down,” I told Sam Metz of the Associated Press. “Whether it was our group that incited that to happen or another group, every single person had the choice to make.”
So for all you Black haters out there on social media accusing me of being a “seditious traitor” and “rioting with domestic terrorists,” sorry to disappoint you.
From the distance, we watched the crowd first stop at the bottom of the middle steps. Then they went a little further up. Then a little more. Until they got to the top. Then the entire building was surrounded and people somehow got inside.
Many of us suspected that maybe it was Antifa agitators who had infiltrated the crowd and set this whole debacle in motion. And as the New York Post reported on Thursday…
“At least two known Antifa members were spotted among the throngs of pro-Trump protesters at the Capitol on Wednesday. The Antifa members disguised themselves with pro-Trump clothing to join in the DC rioting… and were believed to have joined in the rioting so that Trump would get blamed, the source said.”
Added Aishah Hasnie of FOX News on Friday…
“I realize news outlets are ‘fact checking’ and ‘debunking’ ANTIFA claims, but NYPD source tells me known ANTIFA members were identified by undercovers in the crowd that stormed the Capitol. And more than just 2.”
I don’t know if this is true or not.
But I did see a video clip after getting back to my hotel room of a black-clad rioter in a black helmet using what looks like a billy club trying to smash a window as someone in the crowd repeatedly yelled, “Antifa!”
Then a Trump supporter in a red MAGA hat rushed up from the crowd and wrestled him to the ground.
Another video shows a black-clad rioter using a chair trying to break out a window.
It then shows the guy trying to run from a police officer, only to be tackled mid-air by Trump supporters as someone in the crowd shouts, “That’s not one of ours!”
Regardless. I don’t care if they were Antifa, rogue Trump supporters, white nationalists, whatever. Those who rioted inside the Capitol should be identified, arrested, charged, prosecuted and severely punished.
Which doesn’t diminish the concerns about election problems that brought thousands of us to DC on Wednesday in the first place. And as Courtney Holland – another Trump supporter from Las Vegas who was at the rally – wrote…
“You know what’s possible to do all at once? Condemn the violence. Condemn voter fraud. And condemn the media’s unfair coverage of today’s events versus the coverage they gave the riots over the summer when 30+ people died and businesses burned to the ground.”
What she said.
QUOTES OF THE DAY
“’Mayhem incited by Trump’ (NYT) ‘The president incited the mob’ (Liz Cheney). I’ve now listened to all 1 hr 11 min of Trump’s Wed. Ellipse speech and I’ll be damned if I can find any language inciting violence or mayhem.” – @kausmickey
“Yesterday was bad. Yesterday wasn’t terrorism, it wasn’t a coup, and it wasn’t close to what antifa did all summer with the media’s full blessing. If you can’t honestly admit the above, you’re not allowed to be part of the conversation going forward.” – @Cernovich
“The media normalized rioting and now it’s throwing a fit over a riot because the wrong people did it. It’s not that hard to be consistent. Own up to it. All riots are bad, no matter who does it.” – Ian Miles Cheong
“The Capitol storming yesterday was indicative of what happens when rioting is repeatedly rewarded by the political elite and the media.” – Amber Athey
“The fact that practically every prominent conservative in the country immediately condemned lawbreakers & called for them to be brought to justice to fullest extent of the law, in contrast with what Democrats did all summer long, shows you the gulf of difference b/t the two sides.” – @bhweingarten
“Republicans today: Right-wing rioters were wrong and should be punished and left-wing rioters were wrong and should be punished. Democrats today: Right-wing rioters were terrorists who attempted an insurrection and left-wing rioters over the summer were peaceful protesters.” – Ryan Saavedra
“Activists have spent the past two months making tremendous progress in the fight for election transparency & demanding free & fair elections. Yesterday their efforts were hijacked by a handful of idiots. Everyone who caused damaged to the Capitol yesterday should be prosecuted.” – @alexbruesewitz
Annie Black is the Nevada State Assemblywoman representing District 19. You can get more information by visiting www.electannieblack.com