UPDATE: Antifa thugs waged attacks on Trump supporters and members of the Proud Boys who came to Washington to participate in the “Stop the Steal” rally. From Fox News:
Chaos erupted in Washington, D.C., on Saturday night, hours after two pro-Trump rallies ended. Groups of Proud Boys and Antifa activists clashed under cover of darkness, with police repeatedly forcing them apart amid reports of brawls and stabbings.
At least four stabbings occurred near a bar that served as a gathering spot for the Proud Boys, according to the Washington Post. The victims were hospitalized, possibly with life-threatening injuries, a D.C. Fire Department spokesman told the newspaper…
As of 9 p.m. ET, 23 people had been arrested, including 10 charged with misdemeanor assault, six with assaulting a police officer and four will rioting, FOX 5 of Washington reported. One suspect was carrying an illegal stun gun.
At least two D.C. police officers were hospitalized with moderate injuries, the report added.
Images and videos on social media showed demonstrators exchanging barrages of fireworks, and police intervening on several downtown streets.
Photos of a Proud Boy member being stabbed in DC by Antifa/BLM member. pic.twitter.com/Pn76e9ksDr
— Marina Medvin 🇺🇸 (@MarinaMedvin) December 13, 2020
They cheered as Trump flew overhead on the Marine One helicopter on his way out of town for the Army-Navy football game in West Point, New York.
The gatherings of patriots were intended as a show of force just two days before the Electoral College meets to elect Joe Biden as the 46th president.
Trump refuses to concede, while showing widespread evidence of fraud.
Trump tweeted his apparent surprise Saturday morning at the rallies, publicly known for weeks: “Wow! Thousands of people forming in Washington (D.C.) for Stop the Steal. Didn’t know about this, but I’ll be seeing them! #MAGA”
Trump left the White House around midday for the trip to the U.S. Military Academy, and as Marine One passed over a rally on the National Mall, cheers went up.
Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser recently pardoned by Trump, was speaking from the stage at the time.
“That’s pretty cool. Imagine just being able to jump in a helicopter and just go for a joy ride around Washington,” said Flynn.
At a pro-Trump demonstration in Washington a month ago, Trump thrilled supporters when he passed by in his motorcade en route to his Virginia golf club.
That demonstration, which drew 10,000 to 15,000 people to the capital, ended with Black Lives Matter terrorists attacking Trump supporters in the Plaza near the White House.
While Saturday’s rallies, including one on Freedom Plaza downtown, were smaller, they drew a larger contingent of the Proud Boys, a militia dedicated to upholding Western values.
When asked about the Proud Boys’ support for him during a debate with Biden, Trump famously told them to “stand back and stand by.”
On Saturday, police took more steps to keep the two sides apart, closing a wide swath of downtown to traffic and completely restricting Black Lives Matter Plaza.
One block away, about 150 anti-Trump protesters rallied, determined to protect the space.
Small groups of Trump supporters who entered the area were verbally abused.
A group of about 50 men wearing the black and yellow of the Proud Boys circled the perimeter. Police kept them two blocks away from the anti-Trump rally.
The Proud Boys chanted vulgar slogans and at one point started singing “Jingle Bells.”
They were apparently under orders not to engage with hecklers. One man who was talking back to people was yelled at and told “Don’t interact!”
Hundreds of Proud Boys, some wearing bulletproof vests, later marched near Freedom Plaza and gathered on the National Mall, within sight of the pro-Trump rally stage but keeping their distance.
The assembly on the mall, called the “Jericho March,” was described on its website as a “prayer rally” with speakers “praying for the walls of corruption and election fraud to fall down.”
The rally on Freedom Plaza also featured a series of speakers pushing substantiated claims of election fraud to a receptive audience.
Sylvia Huff, a demonstrator who came from Gloucester, Virginia, to show her support for Trump, said the legal defeats hadn’t shaken her belief that he won the election.
“I believe the courts were on the take, too,” she said. The Supreme Court, where three of the nine justices were appointed by Trump, “was just afraid of a political backlash,” she said.
Among the speakers was Sebastian Gorka, a former Trump adviser, who urged demonstrators not to give up even after Friday’s Supreme Court decision.
He said he wanted to send Trump a video and held up his phone, cueing the flag-waving crowd to chant “Stop the Steal.”
The organizers of this rally seemed intent on avoiding confrontations, telling demonstrators ahead of time to avoid certain hotels and marking off large chunks of downtown Washington as a “no-go zone.”
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press.