Pro-Trump protesters hold rallies as tensions grow

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Thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump are rallying in Washington DC to back his unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the US election.

Far-right and anti-government groups including the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and QAnon had indicated they would attend, amid tensions over the result.

Earlier protesters swarmed the presidential motorcade as Mr Trump drove past on his way to his golf course.

Joe Biden won the 3 November election.

On Saturday, he solidified his victory with a projected win in the state of Georgia – making him the first Democratic candidate to take the state since 1992.

He now has 306 votes in the electoral college – the system the US uses to choose its president – which far exceeds the 270 threshold to win.
However, Mr Trump has so far refused to concede. He has launched a flurry of legal challenges in key states and made unsubstantiated allegations of widespread electoral fraud – but his efforts have so far been unsuccessful.

What’s the plan for the pro-Trump rally?
Mr Trump’s supporters kicked off the rally about noon local time (17:00G) near Freedom Plaza, just east of the White House.

They are using different names for the event, including Million MAGA March – using the acronym for Mr Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan – as well as the March for Trump and Stop the Steal DC.

It is expected to bring more mainstream Trump supporters together with neo-Nazis, far-right militias and conservative commentators, including prominent conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and white nationalist Nicholas Fuentes.

Organisers and right-wing media figures, along with the White House officials, had predicted a huge turnout. Several thousand are so far reported to have joined.

Mr Trump said on Friday he may “try to stop by and say hello”. His motorcade passed the gathering demonstrators on Saturday morning and did a circuit of Freedom Plaza, but carried on to his golf club in Sterling, Virginia. It was unclear if he planned to make a further appearance.

Some left-wing groups are planning counterdemonstrations.

Earlier this week accommodation website Airbnb cancelled a reservation made by an alleged member of the far-right group the Proud Boys, saying “anyone affiliated with hate groups has no place on Airbnb”.

Meanwhile, fans of Korean pop music (K-pop) have been using the #MillionMAGAMarch hashtag online to post pictures of pancakes in protest at the pro-Trump rally.

In the latest example of K-pop fans using innocuous images to drown out Trump supporters, actress Shea Depmore urged people to fill the hashtag with “syrupy goodness”.

BBC

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