DC officials preparing for Proud Boys protest over the weekend
Officials in Washington, D.C., are preparing for the Proud Boys, a far-right group, to protest in the nation’s capital over the weekend in the wake of President Trump’s defeat in last week’s election.
“I huddled with my team this morning about an additional report of a caravan that might be starting somewhere in the South culminating here,” Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) told reporters on Tuesday.
“We continue to follow those activities and be prepared for those activities,” Bowser said. “Our police chief will have a similar posture this weekend as he did last week. And we will be there to support peaceful exercise of First Amendment demonstrations.”
When asked if the potential protest changes her recommendation for business owners to take down materials that they used to board up their stores ahead of the election results, the mayor said “it hasn’t.”
“Should I think that something needs to change with that recommendation, I’ll make that statement,” she told reporters.
Bowser said issues like protesters such as the Proud Boys openly carrying weapons would be a “police matter.” Open carry is outlawed in D.C., but people can obtain a permit to concealed carry weapons.
Trump has refused to concede in the 2020 election, alleging widespread voter fraud without evidence.
Trump’s supporters have also contested the results and asserted the election is not finished as the Trump campaign filed several lawsuits in battleground states challenging the vote.
During his first presidential debate with President-elect Joe Biden, Trump was asked to condemn white supremacy and the Proud Boys, to which he responded, “Stand back and stand by.” Members of the Proud Boys celebrated Trump’s comments online, though the president told the group the next day to “stand down.”
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.