The plans for the Washington march, coming on the heels of the January 6 insurrection attempt at the Capitol by the same crowd of violent far-right Trump supporters, were supposed to represent a kind of “Round 2” for their attempt to overturn the results of the November election by falsely claiming the vote was riddled with fraud.
However, the organizers were surrounded in chaos and incompetence—unable to settle on a date, disagreements over the focus of the march, and claiming the state-capital protests were actually “false flags” organized by the “Deep State” as a way of urging greater attendance. Those same accusations were then laid against them by organizers of the state-level protests.
Attendance was probably also significantly dampened by the wave of arrests of key leading figures in the January 6 insurrection. Major militia groups such as the Oath Keepers and III Percenters are currently the focus of an FBI investigation. Livestreaming alt-right figure Tim “Baked Alaska” Gionet was arrested Saturday for his prominent role in the insurrection.
On Saturday, Cuoy Griffin, the New Mexico county commissioner who heads up “Cowboys for Trump,” was arrested for his role participating in the Capitol takeover. Griffin, who was retweeted by Trump in May for saying “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat,” had also boasted that he intended to bring his guns to Biden’s inauguration.
The chaos resulted in a complete no-show Sunday, exacerbated by the extraordinary security measures now in place around the Capitol in anticipation of Wednesday’s Inauguration for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. A RawsMedia tweet Sunday showed the streets around the Capitol Mall completely empty, primarily due to security measures, with not a single peep from any far-right protesters.
The situation at most state capitals was roughly the same, despite the plans announced by angry MAGA fans during the week before:
- In Columbus, Ohio, about a dozen militiamen showed up to march. Most of these men were affiliated with the “Boogaloo” civil-war movement, and they claimed they had nothing to do with the insurrection in Washington.
- The scene in Lansing, Michigan, was similar: A smattering of “Patriot” protesters standing outside thoroughly guarded Capitol grounds, shouting a few slogans and utterly impotent.
- In Salem, Oregon, protesters were outnumbered 3-to-1 by the members of the media who were there to cover them.
- In Olympia, Washington, which had seen several protests around January 6, the grounds of the state Capitol were essentially deserted on Sunday.
- Perhaps the most pathetic state-capital protest was in Trenton, New Jersey, where a single protester showed up with a sign that he eventually abandoned on a sidewalk.
The decidedly low energy for these events is reflective of the disarray that has descended on American radical-right circles ever since the January 6 riots. As Alexander Reid Ross described at Daily Beast, alt-right white supremacists have engaged in extensive bickering over the mess, accusing each other of being federal informants and traitors to the cause, as well as con artists.
“Eric Striker and other movement f**s want you to join a public group to grift off of you and other naïve whites,” commented one white supremacist on Telegram, “and when these naïve whites get arrested for doing stupid public shit, Striker and the other grifting movement fags kick these naïve whites to the curb without hesitation, thought, or remorse for their own actions which got these naïve whites into trouble in the first place. Think about that.”