A longtime conservative activist recommended that supporters of former President Donald Trump “tightly police your gatherings” and to be wary of “provocateurs” after the former president called for protests amid reports that he might be arrested by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office next week.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, is reportedly investigating Trump for providing $130,000 to adult performer Stormy Daniels. On social media, Trump suggested he would be arrested on Tuesday and called for people to “protest” and “take our nation back,” although Trump did not say where or how people should protest.
Arizona Republican candidate Kari Lake, too, suggested that “peaceful protests” should be in order if Trump is indicted. “And I would remind his critics that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution grants us the right to peaceably assemble,” Lake said in a statement. “We cannot allow ourselves to live in such fear of the left’s infiltration that we surrender our God-given rights without them even asking.”
In response, a longtime conservative activist and Washington D.C. protest organizer, Kristinn Taylor, wrote for The Gateway Pundit that Trump supporters should be especially cautious in the wake of the events that occurred on Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol.
“With Trump supporters now recognizing that provocateurs and federal agents will attempt to infiltrate protests, my recommendation would be to go ahead and protest—but to tightly police your gatherings. Best to avoid the whole lot of ’em,” he wrote in an article giving “advice” to demonstrators. “I would also tell people who show up in camo or khaki” military fatigues to “get lost,” the activist added.
“Tell the hotheads and people who don’t want to follow the rules and those you just don’t want around they are free to protest elsewhere—just not with your group. Be firm. It’s your protest,” Taylor continued. “You can still have fun and make your voice heard doing it like this. I know. I did it successfully in the belly of the beast for over a decade without being arrested or beaten.”
He noted that “rights must be exercised or they will be taken away. The Democrats are using the powers of government to suppress conservatives. Peaceful, passionate protest is a must if we are to reclaim our Constitutional form of government from those who have abused their powers and subverted the government from within.”
“There are other means of protest and activism besides street protests. Use them too, but don’t give up ‘the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,'” he wrote.
Several prominent Democrats and Republicans took umbrage with Trump’s calls for protests. On Saturday, top Democrats including Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) immediately claimed that Trump’s Truth Social post was an incitement of violence.
“The former president’s announcement this morning is reckless: doing so to keep himself in the news and to foment unrest among his supporters,” said Pelosi, a former House speaker, on Saturday.
Soon after Trump’s call for protests, former Vice President Mike Pence—himself a possible 2024 candidate—told reporters Saturday “we want to send a very clear message that violence will not be tolerated and anyone that would engage in violence would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” He did not provide any evidence of any possible acts of politically motivated violence.
Pence also said that “we respect the right of Americans to let their voice be heard and to express the frustration over what appears to be a politically motivated prosecution of the former president.” A spokesperson and advisor to Pence, Marc Short, went a step further in a CNN interview and likened Trump’s post to the Jan. 6 breach.
Trump, who announced his 2024 bid for the White House last November, is slated to hold his first 2024 campaign rally in Texas, on March 25.