According to the far-right group Look Ahead America, vigils are planned across the country to commemorate Ashli Babbitt and Rosanne Boyland, who died in the attack on the Capitol, as well as to support those rioters who have been detained in connection with 6 January – or, as the group calls them, those who have been “politically persecuted” over the attack.
On 6 January 2021, a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. Shortly before the riot, the worst attack on the US Capitol since 1814, the mob had attended a rally held by then-President Donald Trump, who told the crowd: “You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore”.
“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” he sadi. Mr Trump was later impeached by the House for a second time, for inciting insurrection. The Senate, however, later aquitted him.
While vigils are planned for 6 January to mark a year to the day since a devastating attack on democracy, some Trump supporters will instead be remembering their comrades who have been jailed for their part in the violent insurrection that saw law enforcement beaten and pepper sprayed, and left five people dead.
In its instructions to potential vigil participants, Look Ahead America told people not to bring banners supporting a particular candidate or political party but instead said: “DO wear and bring patriotic clothing, American flags, and signs supporting the civil rights of our J6 defendants.”
Suggested activities for the vigil included a moment of silence and songs.
“An example could include a welcome greeting, speeches (if any), lighting of candles, prayer or inspirational and encouraging readings, a moment of silence, and ending with song. Keep in mind the J6 prisoners in DC sing the National Anthem every night at 9 pm EST,” instructions from the far-right group read.