Since Jan. 6 demonstrated decisively that Trump supporters are a bunch of violent, authoritarian white supremacists more than willing to smear excrement on the halls of Congress and search the Capitol for government officials suitable for hanging, no one seems anxious to play with them anymore.

Though police came out in force for Saturday’s rally—called to support of the people who erected a gallows on the Capitol grounds and prowled the building with zip tie cuffs while injuring 140 police officers and trampling a woman to death on the Capitol steps—the actual attendance is far lower than even the 700 that organizers, led by former Trump staffer Matt Braynard said they anticipated. The majority of speeches given weren’t so much about their support for Jan. 6 insurgents, but more prolonged claims about how this has become a country where people are afraid to turn out to protest. The whining about how more people would show up if they were not so afraid of the police was punctuated by repeated insistence to law enforcement that attendees were “not your enemies.”

That does seem to be true of Trump supporters, with right-wing media featuring claims for week that the Sept. 18 rally was a “false flag operation” intended to snare Trump supporters and catch them committing violent acts. This circulated so widely on social media that it seems many of the most devout white supremacy groups decided to give Washington, D.C. a total skip. Besides, it’s Saturday. There aren’t even any representatives or staff to terrorize. What fun is that?

Of course, this doesn’t mean that these groups have decided to retire from being violent jackasses. They’re just busy beating people bloody in L.A.—for the crime of trying to protect children from COVID-19.

Not only has the Sep. 18 rally turned out produce fewer people in support of those jailed over Jan. 6, it also turned out to be extraordinarily … brief. As in it appears to be over. Though since so much of this event involved handfuls of people wandering around on the grass, it’s a little difficult to tell.


Total attendance has been estimated to be around 300. So expect lots of references to Thermopylae when this event is remembered in the sacred halls of Q-dom.


Not only were the protesters outnumbered by police, it appears they were outnumbered by the media in attendance. This seems like the kind of thing that, in Germany, would deserve a new word. Something like pitifulputsch. And somehow, the mostly Black security detail defending the stage didn’t look all that convinced that the people who kept shouting “we’re on the same side,” even as they celebrated the deeds of white supremacists who injured the police, were actually on their side.

Where was everyone? Well, it seems that at least some of the Proud Boys were across the country in L.A. where they had joined up with anti-vaxxers to rally in opposition to mask mandates. And there, they demonstrated more of the behavior that everyone has come to expect from Trump supporters.


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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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