The Million MAGA March fell short of the expected seven-digit attendance number, but experts worry the ongoing political divisions will see America break out into civil disobedience.
On Saturday, in one of the most progressive, strong-held Democratic seats of America, a staunch mass of Trump loyalists took to the streets to voice their support for President Trump and overturn the impending Biden presidency.
Media reported that attendance of the march in Washington’s Freedom Plaza probably sat somewhere between thousands to tens of thousands – not an insignificant number, but also nowhere near the 1 million mark prematurely boasted by some on social media.
Despite lower turn out, counter-protesters were present and allegedly engaging in violence, with reports of brawls initiated by both sides. Experts are warning that this ongoing division in the United States could see more fatal conflict if tensions fail to ease during Biden’s presidential term. Trump supporters are unfaltering. And one thing is for sure: they won’t go down without a fight.
The rally was promoted as the #MillionMAGAMarch, an appropriation of Louis Farrakhan’s 1995 Million Man March which occurred in Washington some 25 years prior. The 1995 demonstration was originally led by African-American leaders in protest of the social and economic issues facing the black community that had fallen by the wayside of policy debate at the time.
The protests were held in Washington D.C., where Black Lives Matter demonstrations have been ongoing since the death of unarmed African-American George Floyd back in May. In preparation for the Trump rally, police barricaded the BLM demonstration from where the marches would take place.
— Mike Valerio (@MikevWUSA) November 14, 2020
While the Million MAGA Rally was ridiculed on social media for its underwhelming turnout, there are real fears that the continuation of protest and unrest will swell across America and see real fatality and violence.
— Kaytonna Crossland Whitfield (@msthicknes30) November 15, 2020
According to the ABC, during the weekend’s Million MAGA March, one stabbing occurred, two police officers were injured, and several firearms were also recovered by police. Rival protesters were seen “punching and kicking each other” and multiple police lines blocked Trump supporters from entering the Black Lives Matter Plaza area as night fell.
Brian Levin, a California-based extremism expert, called the Million MAGA March the debut of the pro-Trump insurgency of far-right opposition which is expected to possibly blow-up once Biden takes office.
Dedicated and loyal campaigners, the attendees of the march believe the president’s assertion that election fraud led Joe Biden to win. In their eyes, Trump did not lose the election, it was unjustly stolen from him. Reportedly, during the protests, patriots were shouting that the aim of the demonstration was to “take back America,” with “whatever means necessary“.
While throngs of unmasked, hostile, and angry Trump loyalists took to the streets, an alternative protest was happening on social media. Perhaps random, but TikTokers and teens co-opted the #MillionMAGAMarch hashtag with nonsensical pictures of pancakes.
Actor Shea Depmore encouraged people on Twitter and TikTok to take such action, instead of showing up to the counter-protest where COVID-19 could be spread amongst the large crowd.
“Proud Boys and mega-mad MAGAers are descending upon D.C this Saturday for the Million MAGA March. I’ve seen many on this app rightfully warn people to stay away, as these fools come strapped and they’re angry,” Depmore said in a video posted to Twitter and TikTok on November 12. “But I don’t want these Proud Boys to be proud.”
She added: “Make yourself some pancakes or find yourself a good stock photo and fill the hashtag #MillionMAGAMarch with syrupy goodness.”
what to do about the million mega mad boy march on sat
someone pls help me get in touch with the kpop stans 🙏🏼🥞💞 pic.twitter.com/v480H2zbG5
— Shea Depmore (@SheaDepmore) November 12, 2020
In the caption, she called upon K-Pop (Korean pop) stans to help out the cause, referencing when K-Pop stans used TikTok to sabotage a Trump comeback rally back in June. A quick look through the hashtag will see an onslaught of pancakes, showing that the K-Pop stans well and truly delivered.
— Amy Friggieri-Hayman (@HolyNapkins) November 15, 2020
— nohatersallowed (@valeriemorra) November 15, 2020
— Miłosz Janus (@JanusOsz) November 15, 2020
Peak peaceful counter-protest right there. Some even used the pancake content as a chance for some subtle election commentary:
— Dawn Wagner (@greeneyedmamma) November 14, 2020
Pancakes aside, Levin warned that: “irrespective of the crowd, the fact that this is being organized shows that the hard, hard right is angling for some kind of activity to show that they have some potency.”