On Capitol Hill, a super powerful device for pro-Trump protesters

Washington | High walls of obstructions, police officers in riot gear armed with shields, and rows of trucks: Eager to avoid reviving the shock of the deadly attack on the Capitol, US authorities welcomed hundreds in Washington on Saturday. Demanding the release of the rioters on January 6th.

• Read also: Justice on January 6: The Capitol is fortified

• Read also: Capitol under heavy guard ahead of pro-Trump rally

“Free them! Release them! ”: Gathered in front of the US Capitol, protected by a seemingly disproportionate device, this modest crowd tried to press for an end to the imprisonment of supporters of Donald Trump, accused of sowing chaos in the country. The US capital, but they call it “political prisoners”.

“It’s our Capitol, the taxpayer’s building, so we have the right to go there when we want,” said AFP Daniel, 35, pointing to the white-domed building, which the whole world followed. Cold winter afternoon.

The man, who did not want to say whether he himself was present at the January 6 riots, moved to demand the release of his “friends” who were unjustly imprisoned in his eyes.

“Rights Violated”

On January 6, thousands of Donald Trump supporters gathered outside the White House to hear who was still president.

Then hundreds of them, shouting fraud during the November presidential election, won by Joe Biden, entered the Capitol as parliamentarians, in the presence of Vice President Mike Pence, acknowledged the Democrat’s victory.

More than 600 people were arrested for their participation in the attack, and the majority of them were charged with more or less serious charges. More than 50 people have pleaded guilty, on the other hand, six have been convicted in federal courts.

“Their rights have been violated,” David Thacker told AFP. The 63-year-old from neighboring Virginia insists that “their crimes do not justify the way they are being treated”.

The crowd, some wearing T-shirts in memory of January Day, also chanted the name of Ashley Babbitt, the protester who was shot and killed by a police officer while forcibly trying to reach a bicycle in the House of Representatives. These protesters made the ex-soldier a martyr.

Organizers of the rally obtained permission for 700 people to gather near the Capitol, but the crowd was much smaller, surrounded by many reporters.

Another notable difference is that Congress was not in session on Saturday and therefore parliamentarians were not inside when the protesters gathered.

Police, who announced that they separated groups of protesters from counter-protesters who shouted at each other without causing “any incident”, reported the arrest of 4 people.

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