About 1,000 Trump supporters started the rally at the state capital by listening to the president's speech. While criticizing democrats, President Trump said, "They've used the pandemic as a way of defrauding the people in a proper election."
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Manuel, a Trump supporter at Wednesday's rally, told our sister station KGO-TV, "We know our votes were stolen even here in California."
He and many others support the president effort to fight the election results, despite the president's clear loss. They don't believe tensions will ease after President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.
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T. Fox, a Trump supporter from Elderwood, said, "I am going to fight on because I do believe wholeheartedly, I'm not one of those who's going to turn my head and walk away from facts."
About two dozen counter protesters came to the rally, including Leia Schenk, founder of the social justice group Empact. She told KGO-TV, "We're standing for democracy, we're demanding democracy, we're standing for the votes, everything was counted, everything is valid, enough is legit, and we've worked hard to get to this point."
The tensions inevitably rose, arguing and skirmishes broke out. Proud Boys followed counter-protestors away, and at one point, police surrounded the anti-fascists and pepper sprayed them.
Sacramento police tried a different tactic than during the past weeks of protest. They detained people from both sides, and confiscated cans of bear mace and pepper spray.
No one tried to break through the barricades and enter the state capitol.
I witnessed the clashes at the Trump rally at our state capitol. No one tried to breach the barricades and go into the building, but several fringe groups attended. https://t.co/yNgXgcj1ty pic.twitter.com/R2UXHK8bCu— Dan Noyes (@dannoyes) January 7, 2021