Delawareans join D.C. protests

Trump supporters are seen on the steps on the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday afternoon. (Submitted photo/Sam Chick)

WASHINGTON – By Lisa McCulley’s description, Wednesday’s gathering near the White House was partially a rally but more of a protest.

“I would say it was about 70 to 75% of a protest against a fraudulent election and about 25% of a rally for President (Donald) Trump,” the Stand Up Delaware founder said, as she traveled home to Middletown in the early afternoon.

She attended the proceedings from near the Washington Monument.

The Associated Press placed the number at several thousand people.

“I’ve been here for rallies, and it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. People are angry about what went on in the election. I was surprised to see such a wide ethnic variety and saw flags from states nationwide and people from Texas, California, Ohio, all over the country.

“(President Trump) asked us to come. I voted for the president and stand up against this massive election fraud that has occurred.

“You want your voice to be heard. What we expect is the (U.S. Constitution) to be followed, wherever that may take us.”

The Associated Press reported that President Trump told the protesters, who had lined up before sunrise to get a prime position to hear him, “We will not let them silence your voices.”

The crowd cheered when he said, “We will stop the steal.” That’s been the rallying cry of protests against the election results, according to the AP.

Sam Chick, a former Republican candidate for the Delaware House of Representatives and chair of the Delaware Young Republicans organization, said he was about six rows back from the stage where the president spoke.

“When I stood up and turned around, it was flags and people as far as I could see. There was no open green space,” he said.

Delaware Republican Party Chair Jane Brady said that five buses left the First State to attend the proceedings and believed a church sent a bus, as well.

Just prior to 3 p.m., Mr. Chick estimated that hundreds of thousands of people had gathered and more would be still arriving. That came at the same time of notification of a 6 p.m. curfew in the city, as some protesters breached the Capitol building.

According to the Associated Press, protesters fought past police and breached the building, shouting and waving Trump and American flags as they marched through the halls. One person was reported shot at the Capitol, according to a person familiar with the situation. At least one explosive device was found but law enforcement said it did not pose a threat.

As the chaos of demonstrators swarming the Capitol continued, Mr. Chick said that “thousands of people” were “on and around the Capitol. Protesters have taken over the inauguration seating.”

Ms. Brady issued a statement regarding the incident that read:

“I think it is remarkable that the capital security officers were not able to prevent the intrusion into the Capitol by protesters. I believe the majority of the people there are peacefully protesting, but for those who choose to be violent and destructive there should be consequences. We should not sanction any violence on our institutions. That the business of our government was disrupted by protesters is shocking and unacceptable.”

Delawareans Sam Chick, left, and Rob Stout are shown in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. (Submitted photo/Sam Chick)