FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — December 10, 2020
When: Friday, December 11, 2020 through Sunday, December 13, 2020
Peak: Public events Saturday, December 12, 2020, 1 PM — 4 PM
Where: Black Lives Matter Plaza, in front of White House, intersection of 16th St NW & H St NW, Washington DC
Washington DC — As white supremacists, Proud Boys, and Trump supporters travel towards Washington DC in buses for rallies this weekend, DC residents are preparing to defend marginalized communities and protect the newly-memorialized Black Lives Matter Plaza from right wing attack. Local groups will convene from Friday through Sunday on Black Lives Matter Plaza, holding space with music, art, DJs, drummers, speeches, food, and mutual aid.
The general public is especially invited to Black Lives Matter Plaza on Saturday afternoon, December 12, 1 PM to 4 PM, for music, art, speeches, and programming to provide a counterpoint to right wing rallies being held in the afternoon in Freedom Plaza, about five blocks away. Organizers advise participants to stay outdoors as much as possible, wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, and practice social distancing.
“DC residents do not feel safe when Proud Boys and white supremacists are allowed to rampage openly through our streets,” said Legba Carrefour, a Washington DC activist who supports the protests. “White supremacists do not just go away if we ignore them. People have to take a stand. We’re doing that this weekend.”
Weeks ago, on Saturday, November 14, rage-filled and unmasked crowds of thousands of Trump supporters, including Proud Boys, militia members, and white supremacists, converged on Washington DC for the “Million MAGA March” rally. Media personality Alex Jones openly called for civil war from the steps of the Supreme Court, and unmasked Trump supporters flooded into Black Lives Matter Plaza, destroying community artwork and memorials and starting fights with DC locals.
After the leader of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, posted, “DC Antifa Ends Tonight” on November 14, hundreds of Proud Boys took to the streets in the evening, looking for people to attack. Fights ensued, as Proud Boys attacked a hastily-assembled group of local leftist protesters. Proud Boy members stabbed several demonstrators, resulting in two hospitalizations. They assaulted a trans person who was standing outside their place of work after walking a customer outside. Proud Boys and Trump supporters also attacked Black Lives Matter Plaza itself, tearing down and destroying artwork and memorials to Black people killed by police. They also tore down Black Lives Matter banners in front of churches and non-public buildings.
Now Proud Boys and Trump supporters have threatened to bring guns and other weapons into Washington DC this weekend for a “Trump March” that will begin at Freedom Plaza, five blocks south of Black Lives Matter Plaza. Proud Boys have threatened to march through the city on Saturday evening.
“The Proud Boys are the frontline soldiers of the Trump administration, attacking political dissidents and organized opposition. From Portland to DC they’ve attacked marginalized communities and openly collaborated with white supremacists like Kyle ‘Based Stickman’ Chapman,” said Carrefour. “They cannot simply march unopposed through our communities, threaten Black and queer people, and assault DC residents.”
“Some people think that the left should stay home until after the Inauguration. But Trumpism is a problem that is not going away anytime soon, regardless of the election or the presidential administration. These fascist, racist, self-proclaimed ‘chauvinist’ groups are building and mobilizing through these events. If history has shown us anything, it is that fascism grows when people do not show up and speak out.”
The groups inviting people to attend the events at Black Lives Matter Plaza this weekend include Black Lives Matter DC, the Youth Liberation Front, Generation Ratify, Shut Down DC, Arm in Arm, Palm Collective, Sunrise DC, Remove Trump, SPACES In Action, All Out DC, and Standing Up for Racial Justice DC (SURJ DC).
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FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.defenddc.org
PHOTOGRAPHERS: Please note that white supremacist groups have become very skillful at using your photos and videos to identify individuals participating in antiracist protests, in order to target protesters for harassment. Their actions include publishing personal information online, death threats, and harassing phone calls to judicial services, child protective services, workplaces, and schools. Please consider the potential harm you may do if you publish images of faces and/or distinguishing characteristics. Please do not publish such images.