State Patrol troopers stood in a line and guarded the steps of the Minnesota Capitol on Saturday, as about 100 supporters of President Donald Trump gathered to protest the results of the 2020 election.
The rally, which was peaceful, came as tensions are high following Wednesday’s storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of pro-Trump rioters.
Several people in Saturday's crowd in Minnesota held American flags or flags bearing Trump's name as they listened to speakers, who addressed the group as patriots. Some were armed. People in the crowd also held up a sign thanking law enforcement.
The rally, called “Stop the Steal," was billed as an event to “stop the tyranny." Speakers opposed the results of the presidential election.
A similar event held Wednesday at the Minnesota Capitol drew a larger crowd — with many at that rally cheering as they received word that rioters had breached the U.S. Capitol. That event, called “Storm the Capitol," was peaceful, and was followed by a protest outside the governor's residence.
Organizers for Saturday's event had plans to drive by the homes of legislators and judges, but they said they would refrain, citing current tensions.
At around the same time as the Capitol protest on Saturday, a larger group of “anti-fascist community organizers” self-identfying as “antifa” held their own protest, marching down St. Paul’s Summit Avenue to the governor’s residence. Their demonstration called for a range of reforms: government aid to “workers and tenants affected by COVID-19,” the “abolition of police,” an end to construction of Enbridge's Line 3 oil pipeline, and “the eradication of Proud Boys and other alt-right groups from our community.”
The pro-Trump crowd at the Capitol originally planned a second protest at the governor’s residence, but called it off to avoid clashing with the antifa protesters.
There were no reports of violence at either protest, or clashes between the two groups.
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