Much of the wave of Donald Trump supporters who landed in Washington this week to participate in the Save America march had already left the city on Friday after the assault on the Capitol. Those who on Thursday night were still roaming the streets with their red caps and flags of the outgoing president were unmarked from the episode of violence that stained American democratic history. Thanks to the images disseminated in the media and networks, the police arrested Richard Barnett on Friday, the man whose photo went around the world when he posed in the office of the leader of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.
Others who still remain in Washington blamed antifascist activists for the chaos. However, the characters identified so far include leaders of far-right conspiracy theorists movements and white supremacist organizations. Knowing their names, some companies have decided to fire them.
Kennedy, 25, traveled from Los Angeles to the US capital because “the boss called,” alluding to Trump’s call for Wednesday’s rally. He claims that the message had already spread among Republican supporters that the Antifa – a movement that Trump has accused of violent riots in the past, a diffuse network of anti-fascist activists without a national structure – were going to dress like them in the march in order to cause disturbances and to be indicted. “There were people throwing stones, destroying the offices of the Capitol … We can say that they are anti-fascists because that is their way of acting, with violence,” Kennedy pointed out around the White House. A 70-year-old woman from Texas agreed with that theory on Thursday: “Trumpistas are peaceful. This was the work of the Antifa ”.
Although the general opinion is that the outgoing president’s supporters were not the ones who led the assault on the Capitol, the information gathered by the FBI and by the army of “Internet detectives” says otherwise. The avalanche of graphic records of the chaotic day has managed to identify several of the protagonists. Among them, Jake Angeli, leader of the conspiracy theory movement known as QAnon, Richard Barnett, head of a far-right pro-gun group, and Nick Ochs, founder of the Proud Boys in Hawaii, a group that the FBI links to the white nationalism and misogyny.
Many others were anonymous people who did not belong to any group and whose actions will cost them their jobs. One of them, wearing the classic red MAGA (Make America Great Again) cap, a Trump inauguration T-shirt and a neck badge from Navistar Direct Marketing, a Maryland printer, was identified by the company, which the next day reported that it had fired him. Paul Davis, a Dallas attorney for Gooshead Insures, was also fired after an Instagram post went viral talking about his intentions to enter the Capitol.
Every time the names of more people who have lost their jobs for participating in the revolt on Wednesday come to light, including teachers, firefighters, businessmen. Not only have these Internet detectives been able to identify them from the images that circulate on the Internet. Also because many transmitted their participation live.
Another Trump sympathizer who traveled from San Francisco acknowledged that within the mob that stormed the Capitol there may have been “some Trumpists,” but that they, those of the party of law and order, are characterized by peaceful protest. Convinced of the electoral fraud that the president denounces without evidence, this young man maintained that it was not a transparent election, and that this will have consequences. Democrats “do not accept Trump as their president because they do not like what he says, but we are not going to accept Joe Biden as our president because he cheated and tried to steal the elections,” he affirmed while walking through the streets of the capital with a republican flag. “It will be two very interesting, very, very interesting weeks,” he concluded with a smile.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.