InternationalPolitics

Thousands of pro-Trump protesters rally in Washington DC

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Thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump have turned out in Washington DC to back his unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the US election.

Flag-carrying demonstrators were joined by members of far-right groups including the Proud Boys, some wearing helmets and bullet-proof vests.

Earlier supporters swarmed Mr Trump’s motorcade as he drove past on his way to his golf course.

Joe Biden won the 3 November election.

On Friday, he solidified his victory with a projected win in the state of Georgia – making him the first Democratic candidate to take the state since 1992.

He now has 306 votes in the electoral college – the system the US uses to choose its president – which far exceeds the 270 threshold to win.

However, Mr Trump has so far refused to concede. He has launched a flurry of legal challenges in key states and made unsubstantiated allegations of widespread electoral fraud – but his efforts have so far been unsuccessful.

Mr Trump’s supporters kicked off the demonstrations at about noon local time (17:00 GMT) near Freedom Plaza, just east of the White House, and were to head towards the Supreme Court.

They have been using different names for the event, including Million MAGA March – using the acronym for Mr Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan – as well as the March for Trump and Stop the Steal DC.

As well as more mainstream Trump supporters, members of the far-right Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers militia group were among the marchers. Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones addressed the crowd.

Mr Trump said on Friday he may “try to stop by and say hello”. His motorcade passed the gathering demonstrators on Saturday morning and did a circuit of Freedom Plaza, but carried on to his golf club in Sterling, Virginia.

He later retweeted video of protesters, posted by White House official Dan Scavino, vowing “We will WIN!” However, it was unclear whether he planned to make a further appearance on the ground.

Some left-wing groups had planned counterdemonstrations but no serious confrontations have yet been reported.

Earlier this week accommodation website Airbnb cancelled a reservation made by an alleged member of the Proud Boys, saying “anyone affiliated with hate groups has no place on Airbnb”.

Meanwhile, fans of Korean pop music (K-pop) used the #MillionMAGAMarch hashtag online to post pictures of pancakes in protest at the pro-Trump rally.

In the latest example of K-pop fans using innocuous images to drown out Trump supporters, actress Shea Depmore urged people to fill the hashtag with “syrupy goodness”.

BBC

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