Rallies were staged across the country Saturday in support of President Trump’s campaign to overturn the election following a crushing Supreme Court loss, with at least two devolving into violent clashes with counter-protesters that left eight hospitalized and dozens arrested.
Thousands of the president’s supporters, including members of militia groups, gathered in cities big and small, rallying outside the capitals of Washington state, Georgia and in the nation’s capital, as well as in smaller towns like the Mobile, Alabama suburb Spanish Fort, where roughly 100 pro-Trump protesters showed up in support of the national “Stop the Steal” movement.
In Washington, D.C., where an estimated crowd of 10,000 to 15,000 gathered, multiple news sources reported that late-night clashes between groups of Trump supporters—among whom were members of the Proud Boys, a right-wing group known for inciting violence—and counter-protesters led to four stabbings where victims were reportedly hospitalized in critical condition and 23 arrests by the Metropolitan Police Department.
The Washington Post noted that the stabbings occurred near a bar that members of the Proud Boys had used as a gathering point.
Earlier in the day, Trump excited his supporters in Washington by flying overhead in Marine One en route to the Army-Navy football game at West Point.
In Olympia, Washington, a counter-protester was shot during scuffles between two opposing groups of protesters, leading police to declare it a riot (Washington State Patrol told The New York Times that two people were in custody in connection with the shooting, but did not respond to questions from Forbes about the condition of the person shot).
According to CNN, nearly two dozen people were arrested during the nationwide “Stop the Steal” protests for charges including simple assault, riotous acts and assault on police officers, while a total of eight people were transported to local hospitals, including two police officers.
Supporters of the president were incensed by the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to shut down one of Trump’s last legal avenues for challenging the election’s results, rejecting a lawsuit filed by the attorney general of Texas that sought to overturn wins for President-elect Joe Biden in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Georgia. The lawsuit was decried by legal experts as “laughable” and “utter garbage,” and was ultimately tossed by the nation’s highest court without an opinion.
Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio claimed on right-wing social media site Parler amid the Saturday protests that he’d been personally invited to the White House, posting photos from the North Portico. However, White House spokesperson Judd Deere told Forbes that Tarrio was part of a public tour of the building and had not been invited by any members of the administration.