Conservative activists hold muted rallies in Washington

WASHINGTON, June 25 (Reuters) - Conservative activists held a pair of rallies in Washington on Sunday to decry the handful of celebrities who have joked about violence against President Donald Trump and to protest efforts to stop contentious speakers at colleges.

Both rallies attracted only a few dozen supporters, with nearly as many counter-protesters at one of the events on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. That contrasted with recent marches that have filled U.S. cities with hundreds of thousands of people protesting Trump policies they believe harm immigrants, women and other groups.

RELATED: Protesters removed from outside Sen. Mitch McConnell's office

12 PHOTOS
Protesters removed from outside Sen. Mitch McConnell's office
See Gallery
Protesters removed from outside Sen. Mitch McConnell's office
Huge protest inside and outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnell's office happening right now. https://t.co/Iu9wet6cXx
Capitol Police are physically removing protesters who are staging a "die-in" in front of McConnell's office https://t.co/8BU0dW63VI
Tense situation outside McConnell's Russell office as protesters gather. Capitol Police blocking off hallway https://t.co/48H3KUipfK
Capitol police are dragging people away from Mcconnell's office. https://t.co/ldvakYdvl4
Blood on the floor outside of Leader Mcconnell's office as protestors are physically being removed. https://t.co/z4gVd9t1qe
Amid protests outside McConnell's office after release of Senate health bill, security begins dragging people away.… https://t.co/EOETbCPuvG
Protest outside of McConnell's office after release of Senate healthcare bill https://t.co/FfALhh52Rd
A protest has just begun outside Mitch McConnell's office. Demonstrators say health care cuts could mean life or de… https://t.co/NeyiO7Gu8M
Protesters chanting "no cuts to Medicaid" outside McConnell's office. Capitol Police blocked the hallway & proteste… https://t.co/Ab7lsCcfWP
More from the scene https://t.co/9lvwuYgb5t
Paramedics are now here https://t.co/7PixkfXedj
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Richard Spencer, an avowed white nationalist and founder of the so-called "alt-right" movement, drew about 100 supporters to the rally at the Lincoln Memorial, a monument to the president associated with the end of slavery in the United States.

In remarks to reporters before his speech, Spencer said he was disappointed with Trump's presidency so far, and was waiting for the president to enact the policies he promised during his campaign.

"Where's the Muslim ban?" said Spencer, who following Trump's election victory was filmed saying "Hail Trump" and drawing Nazi-like salutes at a conference. "Where's the wall?" he added, referring to Trump's plan to increase barriers along the U.S. border with Mexico.

As Spencer addressed the crowd, two protestors unfurled a banner in front of him that read: "NO LONGER SILENT WE WILL BE HEARD."

Speakers led the crowd in chants of "Unite the Right," as counter-protesters heckled from the sidelines.

A short distance away in front of the White House, Trump supporters gathered to denounce celebrities such as the comedian Kathy Griffin and the actor Johnny Depp, who have both made joking allusions to Trump being assassinated. Both celebrities have apologized.

Among the scheduled speakers was Michael Flynn Jr., the son of retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who briefly served as Trump's national security adviser before being fired, and Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser. Stone withdrew, citing scurity concerns.

Speakers at the rally said they were also angered by a recent production of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" in New York City's Central Park for its portrayal of the assassinated Roman ruler as a Trump-like blond populist in a business suit.

"We're here for peace," Jack Posobiec, a prominent alt-right activist, told a few dozen supporters at the rally. He said the examples of Griffin and Depp showed the left was "normalizing" violence against the right.

"It needs to stop," he said.

(Writing by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Andrew Hay)


Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.