- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 29, 2021

A conservative group is planning to host several candlelight vigils to mark the one-year anniversary of the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

Look Ahead America, which organized a “Justice for J6” rally in September, sent out guidelines on how interested participants can honor those who died or have been charged in connection with the riot.

“With the anniversary of January 6 fast approaching, I wanted to ask you to consider hosting or participating in a candlelight vigil to stand in solidarity with all of those who have been politically persecuted and in remembrance of Ashli Babbitt and Rosanne Boyland,” said an email from Matt Braynard, Look Ahead America executive director.

Babbitt, an Air Force veteran and Trump supporter was shot and killed by a Capitol police officer as she and others tried to break through a set of doors and windows leading to the House chamber. Boyland died from an apparent medical emergency in a crowd outside the Capitol.

The organization describes itself as a group that guides “patriotic citizens in lobbying their state legislatures and local governments on America First initiatives.”

Mr. Braynard previously worked as a Trump campaign operative.

The guidelines sent out by the group ask local vigil holders to hold the memorials around sunset, and suggest having the gathering outside a local jail, City Hall, or local park or church.

Guests are asked to bring a small candle, and organizers are encouraged to call their local police department for rules regarding such a gathering in their local community.

A vigil will take place outside the local District jail, which still holds several rioters, on Jan. 6 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Sister vigils are being planned in several other states, including Arizona, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina, according to Look Ahead America‘s website.

Participants are asked to share photos and posts from the events on social media using the hashtag #J6Vigil to spread awareness of the vigils.

The September rally held by Look Ahead America fell short of expectations. The rally, which was expected to attract about 700 attendees, only had about 400-450 people, including several members of the press.

Look Ahead America has been active in drawing attention to the allegedly poor jail conditions faced by accused rioters at the local D.C. jail.

Supporters of the rioters have also claimed the legal proceedings are unfair, alleging a lack of due process.

The Justice Department has charged more than 700 people in connection with the riot, which left over 140 police officers injured.

The riot also resulted in the deaths of four pro-Trump demonstrators and Officer Brian Sicknick, whose death was later ruled by a medical examiner to be caused by a stroke.

In the days following the riot, two other Capitol Police officers died by suicide.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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