D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Tuesday that local officials are preparing for members of the controversial group that calls itself the Proud Boys to rally in the nation’s capital this Saturday in support of President Trump.
“I huddled with my team this morning about an additional report of a caravan that might be starting somewhere in the South culminating here,” Ms. Bowser, a Democrat, told reporters in the District.
“We continue to follow those activities and be prepared for those activities,” she added. “Our police chief will have a similar posture this weekend as he did last week. And we will be there to support peaceful exercise of First Amendment demonstrations.”
Several news outlets have projected Mr. Trump lost the White House race to Democratic challenger Joseph R. Biden, but the president has not conceded and is legally challenging his apparent defeat in the courts.
Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio told The Washington Times on Saturday that he wanted members of his group of self-described “western chauvinists” to peacefully protest the presidential election.
More recently, Mr. Tarrio said Monday on social media that fellow Proud Boys should participate in an event called the “Million MAGA March” being held by Trump supporters Saturday in Washington, D.C.
“Need as many of you as we can get,” Mr. Tarrio said in a social media post where he shared information about the event. “This Saturday we will be marching against this stolen election.”
Social media accounts associated with local activists have posted about protesting the Proud Boys gathering.
Proud Boys have gained notoriety for having clashed with counterprotesters, and the group’s founder, Gavin McInnes, distanced himself from the group in 2018 amid several members facing assault charges.
Mr. Trump addressed the Proud Boys by name during the first presidential debate while being pressed by Mr. Biden to explicitly condemn the group.
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Mr. Trump said during the debate.
Reacting to Mr. Trump’s projected loss Saturday, Mr. Tarrio said the president’s “standby” order “has been rescinded.”
“We’re rolling out,” he later posted on the platform Parler.