The National Park Service on Friday approved a permit request by Women for America First for 10,000 people to rally in D.C.’s Freedom Plaza this weekend.
“While the original application was for 50 participants, following a planning meeting with our permits staff on Nov. 10, the event organizers amended their application to more accurately reflect the size and scope of their event,” said National Mall and Memorial Parks Chief of Communications Mike Litterst in an email Friday.
Women for America First is co-hosting the March for Trump, which is one of at least three pro-Trump rallies scheduled to begin at noon Saturday in the plaza.
The public gathering permit for the “freedom of speech rally” starts Saturday at 8 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m., during which participants will march to the Supreme Court.
A stage will be set up and more than 20 conservative speakers are listed, including Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly, son of retired Gen. Mike Flynn; Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, Georgia Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene and members of pro-Trump organizations.
The other demonstrations in support of President Trump, including the Million MAGA March and March for 45, are all set for the same time and place. All three appear to be linked to the Stop the Steal movement, which has held protests nationwide in support of the president’s claim that there was widespread voter fraud in the recent election.
Demonstrators from the left-wing groups Refuse Fascism and All Out DC have also scheduled counterprotests.
NPS estimates about 13,000 people can fit in Freedom Plaza.
Protesters both for and against Mr. Trump already began gathering in Black Lives Matter Plaza Friday afternoon ahead of the weekend demonstrations.
Black Lives Matter DC posted a live video at about 2 p.m. showing people with both pro-Trump and anti-Trump shirts, signs and flags crowded in the plaza. Numerous D.C. Metropolitan Police officers are also on-site.
At one point, some people could be heard chanting “[expletive] Trump!” while others were shown holding signs reading “Jesus knows Trump is not love,” “Trump is over,” “Trump will prevail,” and “Biden is a globalist Chinese agent.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday on Fox News that she thinks there will be a “large” turnout. Later that day, D.C. Homeland Security Adviser Christopher Rodriguez said during a press conference that about a “dozen small groups” are expected.
Enrique Tarrio, chairman of the far-right men’s group Proud Boys, told The Washington Times Saturday that he wants peaceful protests over the lack of transparency in the presidential election.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, when asked this week about the Proud Boys’ planned demonstrations, said the city will “be prepared” for them.
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