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Here’s everything we know about the September 18 right-wing rally in DC


By Marshall Cohen and Paul LeBlanc, CNN

The September 18 right-wing rally in Washington, DC, had brought a new wave of concern about more potential violence on Capitol Hill as law enforcement prepared for a variety of scenarios. It ultimately took place with a crowd of a few hundred and without any major security incidents.

US Capitol Police tweeted that there were a total of four arrests Saturday. The charges ranged from a probation violation to weapons-related charges. Police in riot gear also stepped in at one point to separate rallygoers from counter-protesters, and they were separated without incident, according to USCP.

But overall, the event was peaceful. Capitol Police said about 400 to 500 people were in the protest area, including journalists. Organizers had received a permit for 700 people and claimed some of their supporters didn’t show up because they were afraid.

There was a massive police presence around the protest and around the Capitol, with law enforcement taking extraordinary steps to make sure there wasn’t a repeat of the January 6 insurrection. While there was little evidence going into Saturday that anything of that proportion was likely, there were concerns about extremist groups and clashes with counter-protesters.

US Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger told reporters Friday that the department had a “strong plan in place to ensure” the event remained “peaceful, and that if violence does occur that we can stop it as quickly as possible.”

Given the rally took place on a Saturday, when both chambers of Congress were on recess, far fewer lawmakers or staff were in the area. During the morning, dozens of police officers congregated together in different spots in the Capitol, which appeared empty except for reporters and the police officers.

CNN spotted officers from all different jurisdictions, including from Baltimore, DC Metro and Capitol Police.

Here’s what else you need to know:

What was the rally for?

The “Justice for J6” rally aimed to support insurrectionists charged in the deadly January 6 Capitol riot. It started, as scheduled, at noon ET on Saturday.

The event was billed in support of nonviolent “political prisoners” who were charged with crimes tied to the January 6 attack; of the more than 600 Capitol riot defendants, only a handful are in jail, according to CNN’s analysis of court records.

The vast majority of the 600-plus defendants were released shortly after their arrest. Only a few dozen were ordered to stay in jail before trial, and most of them were charged with violent crimes. For the handful of nonviolent rioters who are being detained, federal judges concluded that they were too dangerous to release, saying they might participate in future political violence.

Who were the organizers?

The rally was planned by “Look Ahead America,” a nonprofit led by former Trump campaign staffer Matt Braynard, who previously promoted the “big lie” that the 2020 election was fraudulent. The group is “dedicated to standing up for patriotic Americans who have been forgotten by our government,” according to its website.

In interviews with CNN prior to the event, Braynard insisted it would be peaceful and that “no one is going to be bringing a weapon who’s going to be part of our crowd.” Braynard had also encouraged attendees not to wear any candidate or election-related gear.

“This is about the many people who were there that day, who have not been charged with violence … and the disparate treatment they’ve received,” Braynard said.

Organizers repeatedly said they condemned the violence that occurred on January 6. Other speakers pushed debunked pro-Trump narratives about the insurrection.

Before the event, at least one Proud Boys leader had encouraged followers from across the country to show up, though others online had discouraged attendance and warned it might be a false flag operation designed to trap supporters.

Meanwhile, “White Lives Matter, ” which does not have a DC chapter, had been advertising global demonstrations for September 18 and had been supportive of the January 6 insurrectionists online.

Who was expected to attend?

Around 500 people indicated they had planned to attend, though an internal Capitol Police memo reviewed by CNN had noted that past recent events organized by Look Ahead America had significantly lower attendance than expected.

No sitting member of Congress was scheduled to appear at the rally. Speakers included two Republican congressional candidates — Mike Collins, who’s running for a House seat in Georgia, and Joe Kent, who is running to unseat Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington state, a Republican who voted to impeach Trump.

What security steps were in place?

Officials took steps to ensure there would be a significant security presence and additional help would be on standby — in contrast to what happened in the lead-up to January 6.

The US Capitol Police reinstalled new temporary fencing Wednesday night around the Capitol complex ahead of the rally.

Fencing had been erected around the Capitol following the January 6 riot but was eventually pared back and removed over the summer.

Several road closures were in effect around the Capitol and Constitution Avenue, with a possibility for additional intermittent closures, DC Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee told reporters Friday.

Additionally, Capitol Police said in a statement Monday that its board had “issued an emergency declaration, which will go into effect about the time of the demonstration and allow the Department to deputize outside law enforcement officers as United States Capitol Police Special Officers.”

“We want to reassure everyone these are temporary measures to ensure everyone’s safety,” Manger said in the statement. “We are extremely grateful for the support we continue to receive from the local community and our Congressional stakeholders as we carry out our critical mission.”

TSA also ramped up security at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, telling travelers to expect to see more security officers and K-9s at the airport over the weekend.

This story has been updated with additional information.

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Daniella Diaz, Ryan Nobles, Melanie Zanona, Jessica Schneider, Whitney Wild, Geneva Sands, Zachary Cohen, Pete Muntean and Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.




  1. Meanwhile the big news is a democratic operative Mark Sussman has been indicted for lying to the FBI. Seems he portrayed himself as an ordinary citizen rather than a lawyer working fir the Clinton campaign. He then gives the FBI bogus information that tied Trump to Russia and the Russian hoax began.
    You’d never know it by reading this digital rag.

        1. In 2019, then-Attorney General William Barr tasked Durham, who had been the U.S. Attorney in Connecticut, with investigating allegations that the FBI’s probe into the Trump campaign had been improper. The move was widely seen as supporting Trump’s claims of a politically-motivated “witch hunt” against him.

          But the indictment on Thursday did not suggest any wrongdoing at the bureau, only that it had been provided with unreliable information.

      1. Uhhh… BARNEY… of COURSE you don’t find ANYTHING which MIGHT point a finger at ANYONE in the Democrat party on Google! You are NOT a stupid man. Thousands of us wish you would check out a few so-called “right-wing” news sources and/or at the least, watch an occasional NEWSMAX or OANN on TV? All CNN and MSNBC ever shows or posts is totally “left-wing” with NO middle ground ever considered. You will likely not post this. I don’t want you to be fired and you might be if you step out of the lock-step of CNN and NBC. You should know. Not ALL Republicans or local people who are more Conservative are EVIL or uneducated nor are many nitwits.

        1. Ahhhhhh! The endless whining of the failed trump borg!!! Wonderful in the morning!!! The big fat, failed and fired orange snowflake couldn’t be bothered to give up a day of golf to attend!!! Soooooo much losing with fat failed and fired donnie the orange!!!!

          1. Ever hear of push back?
            At least in my case, it’s a call to accountability.
            We have a local news outlet that is complicit in spreading lies, and that push back will (I believe) only increase in the days and months to come.

            1. Point to any specific alleged “lies” and I’ll present our sources, which are probably in whatever article you are referring to already. You may then take up your issues with the source.
              And if the pushback is more specified and threatens violence, comments will be deleted.

          1. We get the full CNN feed, but there have been tech issues, as the often-sighted duplicates attest. Our techs still working on it.
            But the articles are not the ‘talking heads’ on networks, or vice versa. We now have bylines, unlike a year or more ago, making it easier to tell analysis pieces from articles.

    1. I agree Phil Petz … sadly Oregon and definitely central Oregon no longer has anywhere NEAR an independent, TRUTHFUL news channel to turn to. Cent. Oregon Daily is a lot better but they too are slowly being dragged down and BIG MONEY who pays everyone’s salary and TV time is taking over all.

    2. You‘d also never know hardly anyone showed up at this rally if you read the faux News recap. No mention of the tiny crowd size. Gotta keep the faux viewers stupefied.

      1. Probably afraid Tali-Biden would order another murderous drone strike.
        Joe isn’t afraid to slaughter women and children for a photo op. And patriots, he’ll kill those to.

      2. The major networks and their affiliates (ktvz) have been hyping this insurrection 2.0 for days. Pelosi bit on it dusting off and erecting her fence while calling out capitol hill police resembling overweight robo cops. Unfortunately the media along with undercover fbi agents wearing company issued matching sunglasses and sporting rookie fbi issued haircuts outnumbered attendees. Appears our “intellegence” agencies have become as big of a joke as biden’s first 9 mos in office.

  2. So far we seem to have had “justice for the J6,” including a whole lot of guilty pleas (60+ down and about 600…so far, to go). Maybe that’s why the journalists outnumbered the protestors who wasted their time, money, and efforts on trying to support Bunker Baby and his lies.

      1. The organizers of the rally called it Justice for J6 and it wasn’t a “Trump” rally. It was a protest to bring light to the treatment of those detained, many of whom have spent months in solitary.

  3. Meanwhile the only thing on the news is bashing the conservatives and police being racist. It’s comical to me how the democrats are quick to react but conservatives are not ones that push or blow up with only their opinions. Grow up and stop believing everything you read. Time we all start being mature and actually looking at the big picture.

    1. – how are y’all the perpetual victims? – what does being “conservative” have to do with lying, and promoting lies? – your branding attempts are a giant fail

      1. No need for “attempts” at branding.
        Democrats are the party of slavery, founded the klan, fought to keep segregation, and are champions for killing children in the womb.
        And oh yeah, voted for Biden, a national and international disgrace.

      1. It wasn’t because of the testicles, they attacked her because she said she was not ready for the vaccine. She has many, many African American people that follow her and the White House wants them all to get the untested jab. The pervs are just focusing on the testicle but it was about the jab all along.

        Lights, camera, action…corrupt politicians all over.

          1. Barney, did you defend the vaccine so vigorously when Biden and Harris said not to trust it?
            I don’t recall a cnn piece here lauding the Trump admin for cutting through the red tape to make all this possible, but maybe I missed it.

              1. Sad that many scientists under this regime are silenced by big tech.
                And government controlled news outlets.
                The fact is, they hated then and hate now that Trump was a driving force in getting these vaccines to the world.
                Again, I don’t recall the praise for Trump making this possible… not here, at least.
                Guess what? If Biden mandates it contrary to science, stop pressuring us to take it.
                And the Biden mandates are not only unconstitutional, but contrary to science.
                Instead of pushing agendas, ktvz should start being a news outfit and provide more than one side to any given story.
                I know, I know, “it’s not your fault”… but it is.

                1. We provide more than one side in any story we report (less control on AP, CNN etc.) – when more than one side is willing to go on camera/on the record.
                  And when they aren’t, we say so.
                  We are not controlled by the government. They are a major source of information, of course.

                2. I believe you are at least willing participants in party control.
                  “more than one side”? C’mon, man!
                  More like “more than one side as long as it pushes our agenda”.
                  We’ve all been through years of tilt and slant. And you don’t “go on camera/on the record” with US, world or political news. You just regurgitate.
                  Or did I miss your exclusive on… everything?

                3. Not true in the least. And the vast majority of local TV/news websites across the country use automated feeds from national/state news sources.
                  I have said for years that we only review CNN content in deciding what goes in top stories – and I can defend their inclusion when anyone gets specific, as opposed to the broad criticism that is the usual stuff.
                  Usually, the critics are wanting us to promote THEIR ‘agenda’ instead. It’s pretty obvious.

  4. “…the deadly January 6 Capitol riot…” ?
    I didn’t (and still don’t) agree with what happened on the 6th. But correct me if I’m wrong, the only violent death on that day was when a capitol hill cop shot an unarmed woman to death?

    1. Correct, though some on the left claim a police officer was murdered by the crown. He had a heart attack at home the day after due to heart issues. But the left doesn’t like facts.

      And I find it shocking that he police officer who shot her got away scot free. It’s sickening. Briana Taylor’s boyfriend shot at cops, they shot him and BLM, media, etc. persecuted the police for it. The woman at the capitol was unarmed and in a crowd and he shot her at point blank in the head. Should be tried for murder.

  5. From President Trump -It is incredible that our National Guard is standing at the empty Capitol, not at our Southern Border, where the number of illegals coming into our Country is at a level that has never been seen before!

    1. Welcome to state sponsored news.
      I agree, it’s a disgrace. Apparently one ktvz is willing to be a cog in.
      Literally years of “I don’t choose the feeds”, or “I choose the feeds”, or “I don’t have time to really choose the feeds”.
      This is where propaganda comes to die.

  6. So funny to watch the maga morons whine and cry about KTVZ news content. You would think they would leave if they were so upset. Alas, they choose to be here daily crying like babies and blaming libs for their miserable lives while their every click feeds $$ to CNN. LOL such dummies.

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