WASHINGTON—Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country joined a peaceful rally on Nov. 14 in the nation’s capital to show their support for President Donald Trump and his calls for election integrity, as part of a movement called “Stop the Steal.”
Supporters gathered at Freedom Plaza at noon and marched to the Supreme Court, protesting alleged fraud in the presidential election. People expressed concerns about election integrity and demanded that every legal vote be counted. They also slammed mainstream media’s depiction of rally-goers.
Dede Laugesen, who traveled from Colorado to join the rally, calls herself “a huge Trump supporter.”
“I really believe that this election is being stolen right out from underneath the Americans who voted for President Trump,” she said.
She launched the website EveryLegalVote.com to “tell Americans what the true story is, outside of the censorship of mainstream media and big tech.”
The website tracks election data and shares personally witnessed or publicly reported examples of fraud during the 2020 election.
“President Trump will be victorious at the end of the day. We just need to have social patience, and let the process complete itself,” she said. “It’s wrong for the media to declare the president.
“This is America. These are ordinary average Americans and for the media to label us as far-right extremists is to denigrate just ordinary Americans. They are lying to America.”
More than 50 rallies were organized across the country on the same day. The event organizers called for protests at state capitols in every state.
Roberto Joel Guttierez, 18, an African American student, said he came to Washington “all the way from Boston, not only just for my president, but to support the United States of America.”
He said he was concerned about evidence of voter fraud, computer glitches, and observers not being allowed to monitor ballot-counting.
The media “likes to portray a false narrative that all Trump supporters are white supremacists. But as you can see here, there’s people of all races—black, Asian, Hispanic. There’s all types of people,” he said.
Protestors were holding signs that read “Stop the Steal,” “Keep America Great,” “Count Every Legal Vote,” and “Dead People Don’t Vote.”
Flor Cerrato, an accountant from Los Angeles, came to the rally to demand transparency. “That’s basically what we want. We want every single legal vote to be counted,” she said.
Born to parents from Honduras, Cerrato also expressed her frustration about the significant liberal bias in the mainstream media and social media.
“I have moved away from social media and from fake news media since the 2016 election. I moved away because I knew that there was something fishy going on,” she said. “I don’t want them to feed me with lies.”
A Grassroots Effort
Before the rally, several prominent Trump supporters and conservative leaders, including Republicans Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas and Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia, gave speeches to the supporters at Freedom Plaza, calling for fair elections and transparent counting. Mike Lindell, founder of My Pillow; Ali Alexander, one of the organizers of the rally; and Ryan Fournier, founder and co-chairman of Students for Trump, were among the speakers.
Alexander said the event was a grassroots effort, promoted by a coalition of about 100 activists, influencers, and conservative groups.
He said the organizers faced “enormous challenges” from censorship by social media platforms. Facebook on Nov. 5 removed a “Stop the Steal” group, claiming it made calls for violence and sought to delegitimize the election process, assertions that Alexander said were false.
Eventbrite also pulled the Washington rally from its platform, citing misinformation. It also sent messages to everyone who signed up saying the event was canceled. Twitter also censored the link to their website StopTheSteal.us, only to reverse the decision later, Alexander said.
“I’m confident that America will withstand the challenge of this distraction and corruption,” said Ed Martin, another organizer of the event and president of Eagle Forum, a conservative organization.
“We’ll get to the bottom of it, and we’ll accept the result and do well. I hope the left accepts the result, too, because I think they’re going to be surprised by what’s coming. I’m involved in some of the work. There’s a lot more systematic fraud that is going to come out.”
Martin estimated that nearly 500,000 people joined the rally, though he said some media falsely claimed only hundreds of people took part.
“I’m not here to affect the outcome of the election,” prominent conservative activist Scott Presler said. “I simply want to make sure that every vote is counted and audited. So my goal is not to support a particular candidate right now, I just want to make sure that the process was done fairly.”
Gene Waters, 72, is a senior intelligence analyst at consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton and lives in Chesapeake, Virginia. He marched in Washington with his wife to show his support for President Trump.
“My major concern here is leaving and losing our American values,” he said. “Trump is true to the promises of conservative values.”
Waters praised Trump’s foreign policies, his rejection of globalism, and his stance against China’s unfair trade practices.
“There’s no room for communism over here. Socialism turns into communism,” said Diante Brown, 29, an African American from Richmond, Va. Brown joined the rally with his wife and daughter to show his support for a fair election.
Trump tweeted about the rallies on Nov. 13, saying it was heartwarming to “see all of the tremendous support out there, especially the organic Rallies that are springing up all over the country, including a big one on Saturday in D.C.”
The president’s motorcade drove by the supporters gathered for the rally in the morning, giving two thumbs up to the participants.
The contested presidential election still remains undecided, as most state results haven’t yet been certified, and legal challenges and recounts are pending in key swing states.
“The whole situation had to happen. The fraud had to happen so that we fix our elections. Media’s corruption had to be proven, so that we can dismantle them,” said Zach Lester, 30, who joined the rally from southwest Virginia.
Many Asian Americans also marched for election integrity. A Chinese American from New York who called himself George took part in the rally to show his support for Trump.
“The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is now persecuting all the religious people. People have no freedom at all in China. So, that’s the biggest evil in the world. We have to eliminate all the CCP,” he said.
He believes that former Vice President Joe Biden has deep ties to the CCP.
“And right now, all the Chinese media are covering that Joe Biden is the president. And they are supporting Biden,” he said. “So that’s why we have to shout out. We have to stand out. We have to stop the steal.”
At the end of the rally, some Trump supporters were verbally and physically attacked by the members of the far-left Antifa network and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Celia Farber and Epoch Times reporters Cathy He and Omid Ghoreishi contributed to this report.