While Donald Trump jetted away from Washington DC for a weekend retreat in New Jersey, hundreds of his supporters descended on the city to demand protection for “traditional American culture”.
Protesters came from around the country for the so-called “Mother of All Rallies” (MOAR) – a pro-Trump, right-wing protest that organisers billed as the “Woodstock of American Rallies”.
“MOAR will send a message to the world that the voices of mainstream Americans must be heard,” organisers wrote on the MOAR website. “We are coming together to send a direct message to Congress, the media and the world that we stand united not divided to protect and preserve American Culture.”
On Facebook, organisers said they hoped to rally one million people to DC in support of their cause. Washington Metropolitan police said they expected 1,800 people. Journalists on the ground estimated the crowd size at 1,000.
Right-wing militia groups, such as the Three Percenters, Proud Boys, and the American Guard, made up a large portion of the protest. The American Guard advocates for “the preservation of western culture”, while the Proud Boys describe themselves as “Western chauvinists”. The Three Percenters advocate for an armed resistance to government overreach.
Many attendees wore red “Make America Great Again” baseball hats, while others carried flags for “Kekistan” – a fictional country that some internet-centric right-wing activists claim as their homeland. An American-flag-festooned “Trump truck” pulled a trailer with a “Trump MOAR” sign on it across the National Mall.
The MOAR website states that “all people, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, age or political affiliation” were invited to the rally.
Before the protest, however, Gays for Trump president Peter Boykin told the Washington Post he would give a speech at the event condemning “Sharia law, transgender men and women in the military and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program”.
Other speakers included Marco Gutierrez, the co-founder of Latinos For Trump, and Hamody Jasim, the author of The Terrorist Whisperer.
The event marked one of the first far-right rallies since the white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, where dozens of people were…