Thousands take to streets saying Trump robbed of election victory

2020-11-15 14:41:24 GMT2020-11-15 22:41:24(Beijing Time) Sina English

People holding banners with “STOP THE STEAL” in the “Million MAGA March” from Freedom Plaza to the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on Saturday.

Tens of thousands of US President Donald Trump’s supporters marched through downtown Washington DC on Saturday, echoing his claims of election fraud and cheering as his motorcade drove past.

A week after Democrat Joe Biden clinched the election, Trump, a Republican, has refused to accept the outcome and has launched a flurry of dubious legal challenges to overturn the results. Election officials around the country have said they saw no evidence of serious irregularities.

Carrying flags and chanting “stop the steal,” the protesters walked from Freedom Plaza near the White House to the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill as part of the “Million MAGA March,” referring to Trump’s campaign mantra of “Make American Great Again.”

Trump’s motorcade briefly drove through the crowds on the way to his golf course in Sterling, Virginia.

Demonstrators cheered as the president, wearing a red baseball cap emblazoned with the slogan, waved from inside the presidential limousine.

“They will not stand for a Rigged and Corrupt Election!” Trump wrote on Twitter, saying hundreds of thousands had taken to the streets.

Police gave no official crowd size, but witnesses said it was far smaller than Trump’s estimate.

Donald Tarca Jr, who traveled to Washington from West Palm Beach, Florida, held a massive US flag sporting a giant portrait of Trump.

“I think it was rigged on multiple fronts,” he said of the election. “Also, the media was so biased that they convinced millions of Americans to vote for Biden. They hate Trump.”

Scores of members of the far-right Proud Boys group, mostly clad in black with some wearing helmets and ballistic vests, were among the marchers.

Some left-wing groups staged small counter-demonstrations, including members of the loose movement known as “Antifa.”

Near the Supreme Court, some counter-protesters carried black umbrellas and makeshift shields, while others formed a line of bicycles to prevent pro-Trump protesters from approaching their group from the rear.

One person was stabbed and rushed to a trauma center, a spokeswoman for the city fire and emergency medical services department said.

The Washington Post reported that the stabbing occurred amid a melee between Trump supporters, some carrying batons, and counter-protesters that broke out around 8pm.

The city’s police department had made 10 arrests by mid-afternoon, including four for firearms violations, two for assault and one for assaulting an officer.

Biden spent the morning at his beach house in Delaware meeting transition advisers, as he has done for much of the week, before returning to his home near Wilmington.

The President-elect has largely ignored Trump’s repeated claims of fraud, instead focusing on preparing to govern and fielding congratulatory calls from world leaders.

During a bike ride on Saturday morning with his wife, Jill, he answered “yes” when a reporter asked whether he was making progress in selecting his Cabinet appointees.

Despite his bluster on Twitter, Trump began to sound doubtful about his prospects for the first time on Friday, telling reporters “time will tell” who occupies the White House starting on Inauguration Day, January 20.

“This administration will not be going to a lockdown. Hopefully the, uh, whatever happens in the future — who knows which administration it will be? I guess time will tell,” Trump said during remarks about the coronavirus pandemic at a White House event.

Biden won 306 votes to Trump’s 232 in the state-by-state Electoral College system that determines the winner, according to Edison Research, well ahead of the 270 needed to win.

He also leads in the national popular vote by more than 5.5 million votes, or 3.6 percent.