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National Guard on Hand as Trump Supporters Rally in DC


Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather near the Washington Monument by the White House ahead of his rally and speech to contest the certification by the U.S. Congress of the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election in Washington.

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump are marching Wednesday in multiple rallies in Washington as they back his objection to the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the November election.

Trump is speaking at a rally on the Ellipse, just south of the White House.

Biden is set to deliver remarks Wednesday from his home in Delaware after meeting with his economic advisers.

Congress is expected to certify the Electoral College results on Wednesday.

Ahead of Wednesday’s events, Trump continued to use Twitter to make unsubstantiated claims that he won the election.

“They won’t stand for a landslide election victory to be stolen,” the president said of those traveling to Washington for the rallies.

Hundreds of people gathered Tuesday night in Washington, including some groups who clashed with police.

Authorities said they arrested at least six people on charges that included weapons and ammunition possession, assaulting a police officer and possessing a stun gun.

Washington streets were shut down, and Mayor Muriel Bowser called in the National Guard, fearing repeats of violence between protest groups like the city saw during the summer.

Downtown shops have been boarded up, and National Guard members will assist D.C. and National Park police controlling crowds on Wednesday.

Bowser and politicians in neighboring Maryland and Virginia have urged residents to stay home Wednesday and avoid counterprotests.

Some activists on social media also called for counter protesters to stay home, warning against inciting violence between groups.

Clashes between Trump supporters and counter protesters in December led to four people suffering stab wounds.

The Proud Boys, designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, are expected to be present at the rally on Wednesday.

Proud boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio was arrested Monday on charges of destruction of property for burning a Black Lives Matter flag that was torn down from a historic Black church during protests last month in Washington. He was released from police custody on Tuesday but has been barred from returning to the city before his next hearing in June.

The election certification, a usually routine and ceremonial function that is the final step after the Electoral College officially elected Biden on December 14, has turned into a litmus test on Republican lawmakers’ loyalty to Trump. More than 100 Trump loyalists in Congress are set to challenge Biden’s certification.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to fellow Democrats on Tuesday that the certification “is about guaranteeing trust in our Democratic system.”

“As Members of Congress, we all have a responsibility to uphold the principle: the people are sovereign and that they hold the power to choose their leaders through the ballot box,” she said.