The Million MAGA March (also known as “Stop the Steal” and the “March for Trump”) was a political rally of thousands of people who insisted that Trump won the 2020 presidential election. The event took place in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 14, 2020, beginning with a rally at Freedom Plaza near the White House and continuing with a march towards the Supreme Court.
Women for America First, a right-wing group led by Tea Party activist Amy Kremer, organized the event and obtained a permit from the National Parks Service for 10,000 people.
Given the number of right-wing extremist groups, paramilitary organizations, and white supremacists expected to participate in the Million MAGA March, experts anticipated violence. Participants included white supremacist groups and leaders such as the Groyper Army, Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler, and Patrick Casey, former head of Identity Evropa/American Identity Movement; militia groups and leaders such as the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys; and conspiracy theorists such as InfoWars host Alex Jones.
The day before the event, Trump tweeted: “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. I may even try to stop by and say hello.” The president didn’t actually say anything at the event, but his motorcade passed by the crowd as he was on his way to his golf club in Sterling, Virginia.
After the MAGA rally, fights broke out between Trump supporters and counter-protesters. Members of the Proud Boys and other far-right groups chanted “Whose streets? Our streets!” and reportedly discussed how to spark confrontations. A number of people were hurt, one person was stabbed and four police officers were injured.
That day White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted: “AMAZING! More than one MILLION marchers for President @realDonaldTrump descend on the swamp in support. Best base in political history—we LOVE you guys!!!” However, once again the crowd size was in dispute and greatly inflated by the Trump administration. Most news organizations estimated that the numbers were in the thousands and Reuters generously estimated as many as “tens of thousands” of participants.
January 6, 2021
- The Million MAGA March website advertised “Million MAGA March–Round III” to be held at the National Mall at noon on Jan. 6, 2021. The website did not provide any further links or details about the event on the day of the Capitol insurrection. The United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP) and the Department of Homeland Security cited the supposed “Round III” of the march as a reason to expect unrest on Jan. 6. However, it does not appear that the event occurred.
- While addressing the crowd on Nov. 14, Alex Jones made statements that seemed to advocate for the type of violence seen at the Jan. 6 insurrection. He called for a “second American Revolution” and led chants of “1776.” Jones said, “We declare independence from that communist Chinese agent Joe Biden and his demonic pedophile family.”
- Members of right-wing militia groups that participated in the insurrection were also present at the Million MAGA March. For instance, Ron Schaffer, a member of the Oath Keepers from Indiana who attended the Nov. 14 march, spoke to the news media, saying, “We’re not going to merge into some globalist, communist system, it will not happen. There will be a lot of bloodshed if it comes down to that, trust me… If somebody wants to bring violence, I think there’s a lot of us here that are ready for it… They’re pushing us to a point where we have no choice.“ The Justice Department later indicted Schafer for his role in the insurrection.
The Big Lie
- On the day of the Million MAGA March, Trump tweeted, “Hundreds of thousands of people showing their support in D.C. They will not stand for a Rigged and Corrupt Election.”
- Former Trump advisor Sebastian Gorka riled up the Million MAGA March crowd by proclaiming, “We can win because he [Trump] did win.”