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To push back against the narrative that everybody who attended the Trump rally last week is guilty of rioting at the U.S. Capitol, one Republican operative from Clermont County, Ohio, decided to invite local protest-goers to share their account of what happened.
And that they did …
At the request of Chris Hicks, the head of the Clermont for Trump group, dozens of locals gathered this Wednesday at the R.J. Cinema and Distillery in Union Township to hear the firsthand testimony of six of their peers who’d attended the rally.
According to the six, none of whom participated in the riot, the majority of rallygoers were genuinely peaceful men and women just standing around and waving flags.
“The bottom line is, 99.9% walked calmly, peacefully to the Capitol and stood around with our flags,” one attendee, Cindy Alvey, told The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Alvey, reportedly a Pierce Township resident, told the Enquirer that she showed up at the event simply to hear President Donald Trump speak.
“She didn’t know anything was wrong until an alert came on her phone that the mayor of Washington, D.C. announced a curfew. She left the rally shortly after that,” the outlet reported.
Another attendee, this one unnamed, noticed people beginning to scale walls around the Capitol, which made her wonder where in the world the authorities were at.
“I’m thinking at the time, wait a minute, this guy is dangling from scaffolding and nobody is telling them this is a danger. You would think they would have a better protection, police saying something,” she said to the Enquirer.
Indeed, it was learned afterward that the U.S. Capitol Police had been grossly unprepared for the event, in part because of decisions made by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who a day prior had ordered federal authorities to stand down and allow Capitol authorities to handle the “Stop the Steal” rally themselves.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser told federal law enforcement to STAND DOWN just one day before these known pro-Trump agitators arrived. “To be clear, the District of Columbia is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployment,” she wrote.
— Kelsey Bolar (Harkness) (@kelseybolar) January 7, 2021
According to the Enquirer, which attended Hick’s event and then profiled it in a report published Thursday, it began with him conducting a poll of all 40 attendees to see whether their support for the president had increased, decreased or remained the same.
The poll found that support for the president had increased among 77 percent of the attendees, while it’d remained the same among the remaining 23 percent. Meanwhile, not a single attendee reported having lost support for the president.
“I support him more than I ever did. He still speaks for me. He’s being attacked by the news media. He’s being attacked by the Democrats, I don’t think it’s for any reason,” another attendee, Doug Gerrard, told the Enquirer.
"I support him more than I ever did."
And so do I!https://t.co/fIDupDWyNK
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) January 14, 2021
It’s true that the president has faced a relentless assault from not only congressional Democrats and their media allies, but also a large number of corporations that have sought to effectively punish him for legally challenging the 2020 election results.
The consensus among the institutional left is that the president’s legal challenges, in addition to the “Stop the Steal” rally that he promoted and spoke at, are to blame for a ragtag group of rallygoers branching off from the main event and storming the Capitol.
But the evidence doesn’t back this narrative. The president never called for violence. In fact, he explicitly called for peace.
“We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” he said at the rally.
“Peacefully and patriotically let your voices be heard.”
It’s all there on video, in case what he actually said matters to anyone.pic.twitter.com/IuodwBfi28
— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBNetwork) January 13, 2021
There was clearly never a call from him to riot or storm the Capitol — and this is exactly what Hicks had been trying to convey with his event Wednesday.
“What you heard tonight, there was no ‘We’re going to rush the Capitol.’ They thought they were at another Trump rally,” he told the Enquirer.
And it was indeed just “another Trump rally” until, as noted earlier, a ragtag group of rallygoers — whom the president has since condemned and who are now being rounded up and prosecuted — decided to storm the U.S. Capitol.
Some of the rallygoers who spoke at Hicks’ event suggested that Antifa extremist had been present at the Capitol riot.
“One panelist, who refused to give her name after the speech, recalled an awkward encounter in an elevator with a man dressed all in black at her hotel in Washington, D.C. the night before the rally. She tried to start a conversation with the man, telling him she was going to the Trump rally the next day,” the Enquirer reported.
“He goes, in a very solemn tone, ‘Well, that’s obvious from what you’re wearing.’ When we got off, I said, Mark, I think he might be Antifa, that was weird,” she reportedly said.
The evidence doesn’t back this narrative either.
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