Speed Reads

capitol riot aftermath

Rally in support of Jan. 6 rioters draws sparse crowd in D.C.

A rally in Washington, D.C., in support of the hundreds of rioters who face criminal charges for breaching the Capitol on Jan. 6 has reportedly drawn a relatively small crowd so far on Saturday.

Capitol Police estimated 400-450 people at the demonstration site on the National Mall, though there were also reportedly a fair amount of journalists and "curiosity seekers" in the area, as well. The "Justice for J6" protest wasn't expected to be massive with organizers hoping around 700 people would show up to its permit area, but it appears a large police presence prevented it from reaching that size. 

Time's Vera Bergengruen, however, reports that Saturday's rally was overhyped, subsequently obscuring "what has been happening to ... far-right movements in the aftermath of Jan. 6" outside of the nation's capital. People involved in such movements have been urging their supporters to "ignore" events like "Justice for J6" and instead focus their efforts at the local level, especially by protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other pandemic-related measures, as well as challenging school committees and boards. In other words, the lack of enthusiasm for Saturday's widely-covered demonstration doesn't necessarily provide the clearest look at what's really happening on the ground.

Update: The Capitol Police's official estimate of the crowd size was added to this article after publication.