The organizer of Saturday’s rally in support of defendants charged in the Capitol riot has told demonstrators not to wear Trump-themed gear amid warnings the protest could turn violent.
Video and photographs of rioters in MAGA themed red hats carrying Donald Trump banners have been a staple of coverage of the fall-out from the January 6 violence.
The ‘Justice for J6’ rally, which is planned for September 18, aims to support the individuals charged in the Capitol riot and demand justice for Ashli Babbitt, who was fatally shot during the riot.
Matt Braynard, a former Trump campaign staffer, told DailyMail.com he was also asking participants not to wear Biden-themed merchandise.
‘This rally is about protesting the treatment of these political prisoners. That has nothing to do with any candidate, nothing to do with the election,’ he said.
‘It’s not a pro-Trump rally, an anti-Trump rally.
‘It’s not a pro or anti-Biden rally.
‘It’s not political in that way and we don’t anything to distract from that.’
‘Justice for J6’ rally organizer Matt Braynard (l) has told attendees not to wear Trump gear or to bring any political signs in order not to distract from their main message of support for the people arrested after the violence on January 6
Images from Jan. 6 show rioters wearing MAGA hats and waving Trump flags as they stormed the U.S. Capitol. The events of that triggered President Trump’s second impeachment
Braynard warned anyone wearing political gear would be treated as ‘infiltrators’
Guidance to attendees urged them not to bring ‘political’ paraphernalia and instead to wear red, white and blue. Troublemakers risk being videoed
Instead, guidance issued to attendees urged them to wear red, white and blue, and to be respectful to law enforcement agencies.
In a tweet, Braynard also said anyone ignoring the instruction would be assumed to be an infiltrator, videoed and ‘made famous.’
He said he had told authorities he was expecting about 700 people to turn out and appealed to supporters not to be put off by warnings of violence.
‘Don’t be deterred from expressing your first amendment rights,’ he said.
‘We have cooperated completely with three different police forces, we have a diplomatic security team, we have trained volunteers on the ground that are prepared to keep everybody safe.
‘The biggest fear people have is not violence per se but that this is some kind of false flag, a trap to lure patriots to DC so they can be arrested and thrown in the gulag.
‘But that’s not going to happen either.
‘That’s what people want you to believe so that you become apathetic.
Images from the Jan. 6 violence feature MAGA hats and Trump 2020 flags
His message discouraging political partisanship comes as police and city officials brace for the rally.
Memories of the Jan. 6 violence – when Trump supporters stormed Congress, leaving five people dead and 140 police officers injured – have put Washington, D.C., on edge.
A Pentagon spokesman on Wednesday said officials had received a request from Capitol Police for National Guard help in ensuring security.
‘I think it’s really in the form of manpower support,’ said John Kirby, who declined to give further details.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also wrote to lawmakers saying security officials would be better prepared this time.
‘The leadership of the Congress, on a bipartisan and bicameral basis, has been briefed by the Capitol Police Board on the nature of the threat and the unprecedented preparations to address another attempt to defile our national purpose,’ she wrote.
U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger this week said his officers would not tolerate violence and announced that fencing would be put up ahead of the protest.
‘We want to reassure everyone these are temporary measures to ensure everyone’s safety,’ he said.
‘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.’
More than 600 people have been charged for their involvement in the riot, with one rioter, the so-called ‘QAnon Shaman’, Jacob Anthony Chansley, 33, facing up to five years in prison, with his sentencing due on November 17.
The January 6 riot took place as Congress certified the 2020 Presidential election results in favor of President Joe Biden.
Babbitt, 36, was shot dead by a Capitol cop as the air-force veteran climbed through a broken window in a door to the Speaker’s Lobby.