Just like the premise of the iconic TV sitcom “Seinfeld,” Saturday’s rally on behalf of the Jan. 6 insurrectionists in Washington, D.C., ended up being about nothing.
Protestors who say that the hundreds of people who have been arrested and charged with violent crimes and misdemeanors for their roles in the deadly riot are being mistreated were massively outnumbered by hundreds of law enforcement officers and news reporters. While organizer Matt Brayland’s permit application for the event estimated that about 700 people would descend on D.C., city officials estimated the turnout to be more in the neighborhood of 200. That’s about 400 more people who have been arrested.
By mid-afternoon, it was all over and the few participants who remained to the end took to calmly milling about the grass near the Capitol Reflecting Pool. Police said they had made four arrests during the day and seized two weapons.
Shortly before 2:00 p.m., The Washington Post reports, U.S. Capitol police broke up a confrontation between protesters and counter-protesters at Pennsylvania Avenue and 3rd Street. That predictable cycle was repeated, as reporters swarmed to minor altercations or police inquiries that quickly evaporated into, well, nothing.
A counter-protest took place at Freedom Plaza, which is only about a mile from the Capitol rally site. Organizers of that event said it would be a celebratory gathering with food and music to denounce the presence of “Jan. 6 insurrectionists, Nazis, and white supremacists” in Washington, and encouraged families to attend with children. There were at least as many people there as there were at the Capitol.
As of late Saturday afternoon, there had been no public reaction from twice-impeached, one-term former president Donald Trump, who had praised rioters and asserted that they are being “persecuted so unfairly” after heeding his call on Jan. 6 to fight to block certification of his 2020 presidential election loss.