MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A local group is on their way back from Washington, D.C., after taking part in today’s rally.
A man who is on the trip said they were on the back or east side of the Capitol when the chaos started.
“We knew there’d be protests. We didn’t know exactly what would happen, and so we were actually trying to arrange a meeting, or a quick visit, with our congressman,” Pete Riehm said.
Riehm says he saw an additional 50,000 to 100,000 people when he walked up to the Capitol. There, on what Riehm describes as the back-east side, he says someone kicked over a barricade, and the crowd moved up the steps…
“The Capitol police as they, when that happened, they turned and ran inside, and so the folks they just kept going up the steps,” Riehm said. “Well at first, they kept backing up the steps until they got to the top and then they went inside and then the crowd basically took over the steps and the big verandas, and that was on the back side! Apparently the same thing happened on the front side, which is the side most people are watching on TV,” Reihm said.
Earlier in the day, the group was at the Ellipse, joining other protesters listening to President Trump speak. But after violence erupted, they made their way back home.
Riehm hopes even with how the day ended, the message protesters tried to get across does not get lost.
“The American people simply want justice. They want a free and fair election, and they want to know the results of a free and fair election, and apparently nobody wants to do that, so they’ve had to go to Washington to make their displeasure known in a more forceful, vocal way,” Reihm said.
Riehm says everyone made it safely onto the bus home. When we spoke with him, the group was in Richmond, Va.