Trump Indictment Courthouse Demonstration


Former president Trump’s arraignment yesterday at the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, DC on conspiracy charges for his failed attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election was a day of bitter irony and a sad day in American history.

All day outside the courthouse on the crowded sidewalks, media from around the world were reporting and interviewing both Trump supporters and those hoping to see the former president held accountable for his actions.

A heavy police presence from multiple agencies along with the installation of crowd control barricades in and around the courthouse helped in creating a relatively peaceful mix in the highly emotional crowd. Anti-Trump demonstrators engaged with Trump supporters in sporatic argumentative discussions with his supporters who calmed the indictment was a violation of Trump’s free speech rights and his continued persecution by distractors and the press. While a few heated exchanges did break out, the large crowd overall was orderly and excited to be present during this historical day.

Trump supporters marched around holding banners and flags along with sporting the usual red MAGA hats proclaiming undying support for the now disgraced former president. In their unwavering support when interviewed by the media they professed their belief in his innocence and that the J6 insurrection was solely a construct of the media. One supporter repeating the bogus claim that he was “invited by the Capitol police to see the inside of the people’s house.”

Another group, “Blacks for Trump” marched by holding signs only to be heckled by a gentleman with a bullhorn who accused them of being duped by Trump to the delight of many.

A Trump supporter complained how he had been “hassled by liberals” for wearing a Trump T-shirt and went on to say that “Liberals were hypocritical for saying they are liberal but are really intolerant.” Another supporter loudly proclaimed that he welcomed the arraignment and more as it would “raise Trump five points up in the polls.”

When asked why there were so few Trump supporters present, a MAGA supporter said “It’s because Trump didn’t ask us to be here today.” The media however, had reported that a “large number of Trump supports was present” but it wasn’t evident when Trump supporters were repeatedly shouted down when chanting their support for Trump.

Other of his supporters held TRUMP 2024 signs proclaiming that he is being unfairly prosecuted and will be found innocent of all charges. Claiming too that he is being persecuted by being denied his First Amendment Rights of free speech. Interesting for a guy who has heretofore only expressed his support for the Second Amendment and tried to crush any dissent for those opposed to him.

Operating under the principle of “No One is Above the Law — the Trump Indictment Rapid Response Event” activists from several groups held a rally yesterday afternoon near the Prettyman Federal Courthouse. Speakers at the rally called for Trump to be held responsible for his un-democratic and un-American activity, by proclaiming that “The American people want accountability for Jan 6 and the ongoing attacks on our democracy.”

Nearby was a supporter form Arizona who has moved temporarily to Washington he said to work on “freeing J6 political prisoners.” He has his work cut out for him as many of those arrested for their participation continue to pass through the court system receiving lengthily sentences after their convictions.

As expected at around 3:00 pm a silent motorcade appeared at the rear of the courthouse where a large crowd had gathered to witness Trump’s arrival. Those opposed to Trump began chanting loudly “Lock him up.” A phrase that has come back to haunt him and his growing legal troubles.

For his part Trump who flew in from new Jersey in his private jet was required by the court as part of his formal arraignment to state his name and birthday before he entered a plea of “not guilty” to the charges. It was reported that he was told by the judge not to intimidate or contact any of the witnesses involved in the case. A violation of that stipulation for his release would see him jailed for disobeying the order.

All these activities constitute an incredibly sad and unprecedented historical day for American democracy. The violation by a president or anyone else in attempting to overturn the results of an election that would go against the will of the people is a crime of hubristic proportions and strikes at the very heart of our democracy. But fortunately, too we live in a democracy with all its imperfections that continually evolves, while affording itself the right to charge and prosecute anyone so inclined to undertake a strike at its very core.

Photo: Phil Pasquini

(This article has previously appeared in Nuzeink.)

Phil Pasquini is a freelance journalist and photographer. His reports and photographs appear in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Pakistan Link and He is the author of Domes, Arches and Minarets: A History of Islamic-Inspired Buildings in America.

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