The much-ballyhooed Sept. 18 rally in support of the January 6 Capitol invasion was largely ignored by much U. S. Media Saturday afternoon.
By midafternoon, the Drudge Report still featured it, but Fox News was fixated on refugees crossing the Texas border. Other networks were also ignoring the rally.
But The Independent, a major UK daily, had a succession of end-to-end live dispatches. Here are some excerpts:
Far fewer than expected in attendance at Capitol
While the rally has officially begun, crowds are much smaller than had been anticipated. Around 700 people were expected to attend the event, but so far no more than 200 protesters have shown up. Scores of media and security personnel are on site too.
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Rally speaker reads note comparing treatment of rioters to Holocaust victims
As the rally progressed on Saturday in front of a small audience of supporters and a larger group of assembled media, one female speaker read a note claiming to have been authored by the mother of a defendent currently awaiting trial for their actions on 6 January.
The note’s most shocking line indefensibly likened the treatment of accused rioters to victims of the Holocaust, which the author justified by claiming that the accused persons did not have access to shaving equipment or haircuts.
“This reminds me of how the Jewish people were treated by the Nazis,” the female speaker said, reading from the note.
The woman identified herself as “Kelly” and as the girlfriend of Jonathan Mellis, a man accused of attacking Capitol Police officers with a stick or other blunt weapon of some kind during the 6 January attack.
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Attendee tells NBC she’d celebrate ‘nuclear bomb’ being dropped on Capitol
A paralegal from Georgia who argued that she did not support the mob that stormed the Capitol but nevertheless was at the rally in support of them on Saturday told NBC News that she wanted to see the US Capitol destroyed in a nuclear blast.
“If a nuclear bomb dropped on that Capitol building,” said 58-year-old Lori Smith, “I would celebrate.”
The woman went on to argue that the officer who shot Ashli Babbitt, a woman who was killed while allegedly attempting to breach the House chamber with lawmakers inside, should be charged in a manner similar to Derek Chauvin, the former officer convicted of killing George Floyd.
Capitol Police announced that the officer, who recently revealed his identity publicly as Lt. Michael Byrd, would not face disciplinary action.
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Attendees chant names of two rioters slain during Capitol attack
One of the speakers at Saturday’s rally led rally attendees in a chant of the names of two women killed during January’s assault on the Capitol.
The small crowd, along with the female speaker, chanted the names of Ashli Babbitt, who is thought to have been shot by a police officer and killed while inside the building attempting to breach the House chambers, and Roseanne Boyland, who was trampled outside of the building as chaos ensued while hundreds of protesters attacked Capitol Police barricades.
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Rally concludes less than two hours after beginning
Saturday’s rally on the grounds of the Capitol ended with little fanfare and none of the violence feared by law enforcement and residents of DC ahead of the event, likely due in no small part to the small crowd size and overwhelming police presence.
Videos showed rallygoers walking calmly out of the Union Square venue as counterprotesters blared the YG & Nipsey Hussle hit, “FDT (F*ck Donald Trump).
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– 4:40 PM EDT: Stage taken down, attendees, media, law enforcement leave
The last remnants of the Justice for J6 rally were already disappearing mid-afternoon on Saturday as a few stragglers remained behind to debate with counter-protesters who also attended.
Well, that’s a wrap, folks. Stage & law enforcement all wrapped up and gone after the Justice for J6 rally, where many people commented that the number of members of the media seemed to match the number of protesters. No violent incidents that I saw. Some ppl lingering to debate pic.twitter.com/4xNFCeiK3A
— Emily Brooks (@emilybrooksnews) September 18, 2021
A massive law enforcement presence and dozens of reporters also were seen clearing the area as the event concluded and the stage was torn down, leaving only the Capitol fencing as a reminder of the rally.