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Hundreds of Trump supporters head to White House ahead of planned pro-Trump protests

Starting around 5 a.m., D.C. Police blocked off roads downtown around Freedom Plaza, heading towards the White House, and nearby streets in all directions.
Credit: AP
With the White House in the background, President Donald Trump speaks at a rally Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON — Thousands packed D.C. streets from the Ellipse to the Washington Monument to participate in election protests in support of President Trump, and listen to a speech from the president himself. Trump's remarks come just hours before Congress will convene at the Capitol to certify the results of the Electoral College, to formally affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. 

The president vowed that he "will never concede" and continued his unfounded claims of election fraud. He urged Vice President Mike Pence to block certification of Biden’s win. As the Verify team has previously reported, Pence does not have this power.

“Our country has had enough,” Trump said. “We won’t take it anymore.”

RELATED: VERIFY: Here's what the role of the vice president is during the Electoral College certification votes

Starting around 5 a.m., D.C. Police blocked off roads downtown around Freedom Plaza, heading towards the White House, and nearby streets in all directions. Shortly after the president's speech ended, police activity around the Capitol began to pick up, as Trump supporters were reported to be on the move.

Ahead of Wednesday's main event, smaller pro-Trump rallies began Tuesday. As of 10 a.m. Wednesday morning, DC Police had made 12 arrests connected to the protests. Some of the arrests involved multiple charges, including: 

  • Possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device
  • Possession of an unregistered ammunition
  • Carrying a pistol without a license
  • Carrying a rifle or a shotgun outside home or business
  • Possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device
  • Unregistered ammunition, unregistered firearm
  • Possession of fireworks.
  • Simple assault
  • Possession of a prohibited weapon
  • Assault on a police officer
  • Crossing police line
  • No permit
  • Destruction of property less than $1,000

U.S. Park Police also made an arrest, but has not released yet why its department made the arrest.

Videos on social media Tuesday showed protesters clashing with DC Police and pepper spray did appear to be deployed in two videos taken by Brendan Gutenschwager. The use of pepper spray has not been confirmed by WUSA9.

Pro-Trump rallies for unconfirmed election fraud claims have brought violence to Washington since the end of the 2020 Election that showed President-elect Joe Biden as the winner. 

Clashes between opposing protesting groups have also been seen in prior gatherings, but multiple D.C. officials have warned counter-protesters to stay away from downtown to minimize any conflicts.   

"I am asking Washingtonians and those who live in the region to stay out of the downtown area on Tuesday and Wednesday and not to engage with demonstrators who come to our city seeking confrontation, and we will do what we must to ensure all who attend remain peaceful," Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a Tweet on Sunday.

A variety of hotels and restaurants closed in downtown DC ahead of the protests, while others boarded up doors and windows. 

RELATED: 'They've asked for increased police coverage' | President Trump rallies bring concerns for DC churches

RELATED: 'What will not be tolerated are people who come into our city to cause damage' | Arrests on 1st day of election protests

RELATED: Proud Boys leader released from jail, ordered to stay away from DC

RELATED: Pro-Trump rallies expected to include a speech from the president and possible violence

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