I was at the Trump rally/speech and the Capitol on January the 6th. After everything that has happened, I thought it was important to capture my experience. I will start by relaying my first hand account and follow with various photos and videos of what I found out later….
First, I have been an ardent Republican for the past 20 some years… before that I guess you would say I wasn’t really paying attention to politics. My Dad was a solid Republican, my mom as well… Dad was a WWII Vet as IS my mom. also a WW II VET. Neither my Dad or Mom deployed overseas, they were both enlisting right at the end of the war (Mom is now 94, as would have been my father). I started paying attention to politics during Bush vs. Gore. I have an engineering degree, and immediately could visualize why re-counting only democratic counties when hand-counts could discern more votes was statistically unfair. That was math, that didn’t make sense ! An ardent “Hardball” fan at the time, I have to say that is when I really started paying attention and questioning the media I was watching….
Back to January the 6th.
Having attended several Trump rallies in the past : 2016 in North Carolina, and one of the stop the steal DC rallies; I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. I took an UBER down to DC around 10:45 am – the President was supposed to start speaking at 11 am at the Ellipse. I had a great conversation with the UBER driver on why I firmly believe there was WIDESPREAD fraud in the election. He was not aware (as most of the general public is not) of the fraud discussed in the Michigan audit report, or all the fraud discussed in the Georgia state legislatures election oversight hearings. (Check the Michigan and Georgia pages). I have had great conversations with UBER drivers on politics all the time I ride UBER (or Lyft), they are always polite and will engage in their viewpoints… The best conversation with a completely conflicting viewpoint was a sweet very smart African American lady Lyft driver in a carpool in Atlanta ! We had a great conversation involving the whole carpool – pre COVID of-course – and left with a better understanding of each other viewpoints. She was for reparations and made her point passionately and with backup that I have never heard before – she was my first exposure to the existence of Black Wall Street …. That is how it SHOULD BE ! We agreed to disagree. True Americans don’t silence or demean our fellow Americans … I love politics and will broach the subject all the time.
11 am -1:30 pm
When I arrived down town (asked the Uber driver to route to the Ellipse) … it was about 11:15. I was really only interested in hearing President Trump speak. The driver dropped me off as close as he could, and I started walking towards the enormous Trump flag displays EVERYWHERE. I wasn’t really quite sure where the Ellipse was, or what line I should be in… I was just delighted at the turn out and the patriotic flags EVERYWHERE…. and the seemingly random renditions of America the Beautiful and the Star Spangled Banner popping up everywhere ….
Sidebar : If you have never been to a Trump rally, hey that is what happens. Everyone singing at the top of their lungs and waving flags. A truer group of Patriots you will never encounter (though vocals could be much much improved, myself especially included… ). Trump supporters LOVE our country and our military. When I took my mom -by myself – to the 2016 rally in North Carolina, and didn’t plan well enough … there were dozens of red hat wearing strong men all volunteering to help me with, at the time, 90 year old mom….. TRUMP supporters ARE Patriots and we all love each other and help each other !
Here are some photos that I took from outside the Ellipse area :
Then what ?
Well, after wandering around delighted at all the enormous crowd of Trump supporters by myself and the FLAGS ( and perfectly comfortable, because Trump supporters are the most NON violent Patriotic group of folks you would ever want to meet)… I gave up on texting my girl friend I was supposed to meet downtown (NO CELL PHONE service, whatsoever). So I decided to go get into the line for the Trump speech…
I ended up in a line for a single Porto-potty (thinking I was in a line for the Ellipse) for at least 10 minutes until some guy came yelling down the line … if you have to go the bathroom this is the line for one portal-potty and there are 10 more on another line….
Still took me a bit to that figure out and leave that original line (as the accomplished Trump Supporter Capitol Storm Trooper that I am). There were at least 50 of us that had made the same mistake. Organized marauders, right ?
The line for the Trump speech
After finally figuring out I was in the line for the porta-potty and not Trumps speech, I joined the correct line. Realizing that I did not want to be by myself all day (a reality because I had given up hope of the cell signal ever coming back) I started talking to people in line. A set of sisters that had flown in for this march – one from Texas and one from Arizona were in line ahead of me. I asked if I could hang out with them since I couldn’t text my girlfriend … These ladies … I think a bit older than me but not sure… readily agreed and welcomed me.. all Trump supporters welcome each other all the time. There was a lot of discussion about what you could and could not bring in to the Ellipse speech. A couple of kids (kids – sorry 20 year olds) in the line in front of us indicated they decided it was important enough to drive ALL night to get there to hear their President ” The best President of our lifetimes”. These young men were forced to sacrifice a pocketknife and an insulated cup with metal. They did. The sisters and I just had our purses and were allowed to continue after their inspection. Backpacks were not allowed in the Ellipse though purses were Standard security screening that you see at Disney, etc … not the airport they are more stringent). Pre COVID, I used to fly all the time.
Trumps speech was just starting when we finally entered the Ellipse about 12:10 or so. It was very cold, I was worried about my phone running out of battery and not being able to call an Uber home. I kept turning my phone off and on throughout the day .. mainly because though I wanted to take pictures, I didn’t want the battery running out..
The Presidents Speech
Donald Trump’s speech, for those of those have been watching the state legislatures publicly broadcast speeches, was no surprise, the fraud was everywhere. He itemized it in detail… the most endearing thing he said was I could itemize the fraud for hours… , but it is FREEZING out here and I love you guys… (and he did spend at least 30 minutes itemizing the fraud, none of which the media will report).
The March to the Capitol
The President encouraged us to march to the Capitol to let our voices be heard, during his speech. The President never encouraged rioting. His speech is public record, but here’s how I interpreted it.. make yourselves be heard. Show up in such MASS force that they HAVE to acknowledge you….
After the President’s speech, we all marched to the Capitol. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of us.. I am guessing we all left his speech about 1 pm. I think we showed up at the Capitol around 2:15 or so…
I included pictures of people sitting on top of the porta potties, which guys, I have to tell you I find hysterical. My teenage daughter and her friend did the exact same thing using a bus stop at the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade almost 15 years ago… She was fine with it then, horrified with the behavior now.. I find it hysterically funny now, though I was definitely appalled 10 years ago.
Next, after a fabulous patriotic flag waving march down Pennsylvania Avenue, we arrived at the Capitol.
It is very important to understand that at the point that most of the folks listening to the Presidents speech on the Ellipse… well we arrived WELL after the supposed Capitol breach occurred. We (the hundreds of thousands of us) had nothing to do with the breach. Nothing. The Capitol Grounds were open and thousands of people were already there.
The Capitol was PACKED ! Wall to wall people. No masks anywhere, and packed in like sardines (you really couldn’t hardly move). And BTW today is Monday, January 11th and I am not sick…
The sisters and I had no idea that we were being portrayed as a group of marauders, none.. .literally none whatsoever…. we had no cell phone service, none. We weren’t the only group of over 50 year olds, and in retrospect I think all of us were used for cover. In fact, when the rumor started circulating that the Capitol had been invaded, everyone thought it was a joke. Again, we had no cell phone service. I started calling myself a storm trooper to the crowd (here’s me… I look like a storm trooper don’t I ?)
My friend took this picture at about 4 pm or so, this was later in the day.
Trump supporters were expecting a historic overturn of the election due to fraud. I have seen estimates varying between 250K and 2 million for attendance…
I was trying to get closer to the Capitol, the sisters were behind me trying to follow and then it was so crowded I lost them. I continued, not realizing I had lost them. During this period, when I was closer to the Capitol walls than I had ever been before, I saw a LOT of big men in all black clothing WITH gas masks on. I really didn’t think much about it at the time… it again was so packed I was getting worried about getting smashed… even though everyone was being nice you really couldn’t move at all. It was at this point I decided it was dangerous… I could die from getting smashed (one lady did die from getting smashed). Really… wall to wall people thinks sardines and compression.
But it was FUN ! … there were a couple of guys scaling the inauguration scaffolding to burn it ? NO ! To hang an ENORMOUS American flag over the side at which point everyone spontaneously starts singing the national anthem. They also hung an enormous “The Capitol belong to the people” (I think… said something like that) banner across the very top balcony… the crowd is cheering but all asking each other”how in the world did they manage to get up there… ?” with absolutely NO idea that people were inside the Capitol. We had seen young men scaling the balconies to hang flags and banners and thought it was all great fun…. civil disobedience ? Absolutely ! Insurrection…revolution.. no way.
Regardless, I decided we all needed to get out of that situation,… tons of these guys there were BIG guys… 6’2 and above..
I was separated from the two sisters at this point… and I started getting worried not only for my safety but for my new friends…. I was the exception not the rule in height (way shorter than the folks I was trying to push through)…LOTS and LOTS of really big guys. All of whom were really nice to us, but LOTS and LOTS of really big guys. When you are surrounded by a SEA of people, you can’t see anything, you are one half their height… well guys it get scary for us.
So.. I decided that the priority was to go back and find my new friends and if I couldn’t find them I should LEAVE.
It took me quite a bit to get back to my new friends… It was jammed. When I finally did find them, they were surrounded by folks because they were being interviewed …. and I am pretty sure it was Will Ricciardella on behalf of the Washington Examiner who talked about interviewing two sixty year old ladies when a loud guy from Texas broke in…. I can’t find the article now though.
Regardless, I was worried enough by the “smushing” that I was firmly convinced I had to get my new friends out of there… so after the interview was complete, we left the front of the Capitol and went around the side.
THERE are no barriers, no cops, no one telling us we cannot do this. Think three 60 year old females with flags. QUITE the invading army. There are Trump supporters everywhere with flags, celebrating our freedom, no cops, no one telling us we aren’t allowed to do exactly what we are doing ( we pay for this Capitol). On the backside of the Capitol, there are two sets of steps… the first set of steps is full of Trump supporters and jammed… waving flags, singing Anthems. The second set of steps is practically empty. We mount those steps and take some pictures and look around… there are cops at the top of those stairs guarding the entrance so we stop at the first balcony and don’t approach them.
Here are some pictures I took :
While on the back of the Capitol…one of the sisters really needs to go the ladies room. I do too…. Older sister not so much. So, one sister and I go in hunt of a restroom around the Capitol. I see a group of cops rushing by… and silly me ask “excuse me sir, can you tell us where the porta potties are” He stops… looks at me in astoundment.. and then gives me directions… You know, I think at this point I should have figured out there was something more going on… but I did not.
So the younger sister of my new friends and I head to the porta potties, where we WAIT for at least 45 minutes because there are only two porta potties. These porta potties are on the side of the Capitol. There are at least 20 people lined up waiting for each porta pottie.
Tons of people from all over the country. All trying to figure out what was really happening from random sparse communication because AGAIN, NONE of us had cell phone service. But, we had invested no small effort to support our President and we weren’t leaving.
Several of the guys in line for the porta potty indicate that they have seen cell phone blockers and that is why nobodies cell will work. I have no idea what a cell phone blocker looks like but I can attest that I had NO absolutely NO ability to communicate until about 5:30 PM when I got on the metro. At this point two of my kids were frantically texting me absolutely convinced that I was the unarmed woman that had been tragically shot by the Capitol police. I was NEVER inside the Capitol at any time… however, I will tell you that there are videos of Trump protestors waiting in line to get into the Capitol building on January the 6th. I have been on a Capitol tour. The inside is beautiful. You can also visit any of your Congressman’s offices and walk the Senate building… need to go through security but it is OUR RIGHT as American citizens who pay them to visit our Congressman and Senators. I have done it before…. (Obama administration when I was furious about my premiums doubling and the deductible quadrupling due to the ACA – affordable care act). But I digress…..
After the porta potty excursion (probably took about an hour) my new friend and I decided to circle the Capitol back to her sister in the direction that would bring us back in the front … the porta potties were about 1/2 way around, Anyway, after a short discussion we decided to head back around the front (we thought it was about even both ways…) . We had left her sister around the back. The front would be more interesting.. we were both curious as to what was going on out front, we had circled to the back looking for the “stop the steal” rally but couldn’t find it. Again, I need to emphasize that any reports of Capitol invasion we all found hilarious, not just unlikely but hilarious, the folks we were hanging out with were way, way too old to do any such thing. But, as I think back, there WERE folks dressed in gas masks in the crowd.. I only saw them when I was at the front of the crowd in the Capitol… but I wasn’t sure if they were law enforcement or something else…
So, we went back around to the front of the Capitol where there were still crowds of people on the front steps. Looking up at the scaffolding, a young man dressed in all black looks at the two of us, and says… do you want to go up there ? the entrance is on the back around the side, and points us to it… thinking that the view would be gorgeous from up there, and given that it didn’t look nearly as crowded as it had before… yes, we did mount the scaffolding. I think this was around 4 pm, not sure.
Here are a few of the pictures I took from up top :
I also have a video but it is so large I haven’t figured out how to transfer it yet…
Shortly after this picture, I guess the National Guard was called out, because they started firing tear gas to disperse the enormous crowd. I got separated from my friend at this point. …and yes I was tear gassed. Wow. Can’t say as an almost sixty year old that was on my bucket list :-), but we can now cross it off.
After all the gas cleared I headed back down the scaffolding steps and went back around to the back of the Capitol looking for the sisters that I had lost. I was more worried about them than me, and didn’t think any of us should be traveling alone. I couldn’t find either of them. So, given that it was getting close to 6 pm, and I was concerned about Antifa, I started trying to figure out where the nearest Metro might be or someplace I could get cell service to call an UBER/Lyft. As I was walking away from the Capitol, some wedding videographer was interviewing a guy complaining about the police tear gassing peaceful protestors…. I joined in. Then I continued on my hunt for the Metro. Several police officers that I inquired with were helpful in pointing me the correct direction, to Union Station. I passed the Hyatt on my way, which was JAMMED with Trump supporters (not just the Holiday Inn… Anderson Cooper). Like my friends, I just found red hats.. which were everywhere.. and hung out with them in whatever direction I was walking.
I have more information, discussions with my new friends and videos that are everywhere on Twitter and Parler, showing that the Capitol cops LET people into the building, that the lady who was shot was actually waiting in line to get into the building VIA the Capitol visitors center… But I am not a full time political hack so for now, this is all you get !
There is a lot of dis-information out there that Trump supporters are all violent thugs and a MOB… That COULD NOT be further from the truth. MOBS are what invaded Portland last year.
I felt it important to be public with my first hand account of what happened at the Capitol. I, with HUNDREDS of Thousands of Trump supporter, were there to support our President. My President Donald Trump won re-election in a landslide. If the media, supposedly the protectors of free speech, would examine or EVEN COVER, the state legislatures hearings on election fraud the entire country would be appalled. Half the country IS appalled that we no longer have free and fair elections.
My parents fought WWII to save this country (and most importantly, our right to free speech) for me.
And I, for one, REFUSE to shut up because of political intimidation and the CANCEL culture.
Free speech is our most important right. If we lose that, what else do we have ?
If the FBI wants to contact me about what happened that day, I am happy to talk to them. I did NOTHING wrong. If they are going to arrest me, well they have 50K more Patriots they are going to arrest with them …. Nancy Pelosi wants to arrest all Trump supporters ? Really ? Well that’s half the country. Have FUN with that.
I am NOT shutting up. There was massive fraud in this election. I am excising my constitutionally protected right to free speech.
Whose NEXT ?
If the mob comes after me, who will it come after next ? They are after ALL of us ! My parents fought for the right to speak freely, especially on politics, in what used to be the freest country on earth…
But right after I returned home on January the 6th, my sister (a lifelong Democrat) is imploring me on Facebook to “TAKE those pictures down” you will be arrested, you will lose your job… Communism folks ,,, that’s Communism.
My sister voted for Communism.
And if you voted for Joe Biden, SO DID YOU ! Seriously kicking all conservatives off Twitter ? Killing Parler ? What are you afraid of ? Since WHEN was free speech a CRIME !