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A time to stand
For all great truths begin as blasphemies
History is redacted and written by the winning side. Having unfollowed the corporate media for over a decade, I was not privy to the narrative they were spewing. However, on the first anniversary of January 6th, I am compelled to write this personal experience so my children, their kids and you who read Praying Mantis will know the truth from someone who was there.
Within days after November 3rd, many were deeply troubled by the statistically impossible blue jump, the witness testimony of election malfeasance, election data mathematical anomalies, and common-sense conclusion that a basement campaign could not possible overcome Trump’s massive rally turnout. Something was wrong with the election process, it was not secure or representative, it needed to be reviewed. Moreover, discussing such concerns in public forums was censored, shadow banned or deplatformed – these were “the most secure elections in US history.” Not.
In December President Trump asked his base to meet up in D.C. and those who felt the call showed up. Personally, I knew I’d deeply regret not going. Three others joined me - convicted we needed to be there. Notably, Google maps was uncooperative with our mission:
Our intention was never to reach the Capitol building. We simply would join the masses from afar to pray in that direction. There were rumors of BLM, Antifa infiltrators, and pipe bombs so we exercised extra caution, ready to skedaddle at the merest hint of a threat. After all, we had left our families behind and all we really wanted was to pray with presence.
On that grey winter morning, our Uber dropped us by the Martin Luther King memorial. The driver wished he could join but had to work. We walked the grounds, keeping a watchful eye to our surroundings and constantly evaluating the situation at hand.
There were several forums we could have attended. In particular, I was interested in Dr. Gould’s Covid presentation but my friends wanted to hear Trump’s speech. We headed in that direction.
It was a cold walk but thankfully there was no rain. Leafless trees and dried grass added to the dreariness of the moment. This was not the DC of spring or summer visits, of cherry blossoms or of sightseers milling around. Rather, there was a quiet purpose in the air. People were bundled up and notably, mask less.
To enter the Ellipse, we stood in a long security line to get past the checkpoints, mingling with hundreds of other citizens. They hailed from California, Texas, Michigan as well as DC, Virginia, Maryland and closer states. We were joined by millennials, boomers and GenX’s. Vietnamese, Chinese, Blacks, Whites and Browns. Christians reciting the Lord’s prayer on their megaphones, political activists, non-descript citizens, bikers, hipsters, cowboys and goths. The JCrew, Vineyard Vines and Designer looks in crowd stood next to the Orange Man T-shirts. In other words: whomever makes America.
We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.
Rev. Martin Luther King
The largest arrival of citizens ever to descend on Washington DC showed up not during the sweetness of spring or the warmth of summer, not for a peace protest, not for anything else but to clamor for election integrity and show their support for President Trump. Two million of us drove, flew, or bussed there in the middle of winter because we knew something was wrong and were free to express this with our presence.
Those attending Trump’s rally convened at the Ellipse which is about 1.4 miles away from the Capitol. On a good day, this is a 30 minute walk – take note of this fact. Our group was separated from the rest of the protestors by security checkpoints and barricades. We were a subset of the larger crowd that was present throughout the National Mall.
The President was supposed to speak around 11 AM but he did not appear until a few minutes before noon. His speech started at 12:00 and he worked the crowd for a while, making scathing remarks at CNN and the other fake news media. Next he laid out Georgia and Arizona’s election irregularities. For a moment, I thought he was going to go through each state which would have made for a very long (and boring) speech. We aspired to pray in proximity of the Capitol by one o’clock, which was when the Senate vote was supposed to take place. That would have required leaving but we decided to stay till the very end not wanting to be disrespectful.
Suddenly, he wrapped up his speech. In no moment did Trump incite the crowd to violence. I heard it all and this is the first lie. In fact, as we were being “dismissed”, he said to go in peace because Americans are peaceful people. In retrospect, it felt as if he intentionally dragged on to keep the crowd with him for an extended period. Perhaps he had knowledge of what was happening down the road? After the speech ended (around 1:00 PM), our crowd headed towards the Capitol. By then, the intrusion had already taken place. Only by teleporting or time traveling could anyone here made there. This is the second lie.
An ocean of people walked down Constitution Ave, all very calm, many of them waving home made signs and MAGA flags. Our foursome stopped at a corner to hold hands and pray, joined by an anonymous Texan cowboy. The energy was palpable, but people were mindful, collected, and polite. By the time we arrived (2:00 PM or so) a sea of humanity had amassed close to the building and its surroundings. A small pond separated the arriving crowd from those already there. We stayed on the grounds for about 40 minutes and then made our way to the subway, our mission fulfilled.
I did not see what happened at the doorsteps of the Capitol. A friend who was upfront saw the police allowing people inside. In the subway, a man recounted how a few young men were climbing up the scaffolding and urged him to join. He chose to not to do so.
The media used the actions of a few hundred misguided to besmirch the intentions of two million while villainizing those who are sitting in solitary confinement and still awaiting charges - the third lie.
Regardless of how this day goes down in history, answering the call and joining my fellow Americans was a unique and memorable experience. In fact, it is my proudest civic action as US citizen. No regrets.
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Video of the crowd walking from The Ellipse to The Capitol:
For a full perspective on January 6, 2020 watch here:
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