PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Trump supporters in Salem gathered Saturday for what they called a “Defeat the Steal” rally, coinciding with various other cities across the U.S. with similar events.
A crowd of about 100-200 were gathered at the capitol steps with many saying they don’t believe the election results naming Joe Biden as president-elect.
“Once they went to mail in ballots for everybody, I think it pretty much made it that we don’t have a voice anymore- those of us who are Republicans our voice is squashed,” a rally-goer named Anna said.
“I think the evidence will be presented to the courts, everything from both sides, and judges are there for a reason, they have been appointed legally so I think they know what’s best,” added Christian, also at the rally.
Other rally goers said they came to express their love of President Trump and to exercise their first amendment right of free speech.
“I’m out here to go protest that we have fraud in this country,” a participant by the name of Huck said. “But, we have got to educate ourselves…we got to not be afraid, we walk by faith. It’s the foundation that this country was founded.”
Many of the rally-goers said they want the legal fight to continue and some expressed concerns about what they believe is socialism communism in America.
Several people were dressed in Proud Boys shirts and waving flags with the same branding.
One attendee even brought out a metal-cast statue once erected in downtown Portland to support the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Known as “Nightmare Elk,” the metal sculpture replaced a city-owned statue that was removed due to fears of damage from protesters demonstrating outside the Justice Center. After being snatched by conservative activists on Oct. 10, the “Nightmare Elk” had not been seen publicly until Saturday’s rally, where it was renamed “patriot elk,” reported KOIN 6 News media partner the Portland Tribune.
The rally wrapped up by Saturday afternoon.
A coalition of federal and state officials said Thursday that they have no evidence that votes were compromised or altered in last week’s presidential election, rejecting unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud advanced by Trump and many of his supporters, the Associated Press reported.