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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/16/21

"Organized" March to Capitol Was Not Permitted, Rally Organizers Warned White House

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From Consortium News

Insider: White House Warned March was Illegal; Trump's Call to March Broke Promise to Park Police

Donald Trump Rally
Donald Trump Rally
(Image by Michael Candelori Photography from flickr)
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Before Donald Trump exhorted the Jan. 6 rally to march on the Capitol, the White House had been warned by the rally sponsor that there was no permit for a march, that the Interior Department's Park Police were promised there would be no march, and that such an unplanned march was dangerous.

As a result, the police were stunned, undermanned and unprepared for Trump's surprise launch of thousands of his enraged Trump supporters, some armed, on the Capitol.

"I mean, it was shocking. It's something we advocated against doing for exactly the reasons that ended up playing themselves out," said a high-level source inside Women for America First, the organization that held the Interior Department permit for the rally. They spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity.

Even more damning, the march Trump set in motion was led and promoted by ultra-right, violence-threatening extremist Ali Alexander, head of Stop the Steal. The Palast Investigative Team filmed Alexander, only weeks before the riot, exhorting a crowd:

"Either they take Trump ...[or] we'll light the whole sh*t on fire!"

The White House had been warned about Alexander and his dangerous plan to move on the Capitol. The leaders of Woman for America First sent several frantic, angry text messages to the White House warning that such a march was both illegal and dangerous. "When Ali was putting up things about the Capitol on the sixth, [we were] screen-shotting that, sending it to people both at Parks and at the White House, a couple of times, like 'WTF'!"a organizer source said.

One series of texts between the sponsors apparently sent two days before t he rally reads, "Did you see that Ali's website says we are marching at 1." The reply: "We've just had to up our numbers with the NPS [National Park Service] and we can't say anyone is marching."

It is impossible to confirm the authenticity of the texts, which could be self-serving creations after the fact. However, Women for America First founders Amy and Kylie Jane Kremer, who have had a well-reported feud with Alexander and Alex Jones, the far-right radio host with whom Alexander had teamed to lead the march.

It is credible that the Kremers would have tried to prevent their sworn enemy from using their rally to launch a march which would leave the group on the hook for violation of their permit.

The permit issued by the U.S. Interior Department, which has jurisdiction over federal parkland, says: "Women for America First will not conduct an organized march from the Ellipse at the conclusion of the rally." It adds, "Some participants may leave to attend rallies at the United States Capitol to hear results of Congressional certification of the Electoral College count." But an "organized march" was not allowed.

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Greg Palast's investigative reports appear in Rolling Stone, the Guardian and on BBC Television. His latest film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, on how Donald Trump stole the 2016 election, is available on Amazon. Palast is Patron of the Trinity (more...)
 
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