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“Justice for J6” photos show low attendance, overwhelming media and police presence

The sparsely-attended “Justice for J6” rally concluded Saturday mid-afternoon after hours of speeches without any known major instances of violence.

Between 400 and 450 people turned up at the rally, according to Capitol Police, less than the Department of Homeland Security‘s prediction of roughly 700 attendees.

Despite the lackluster turnout, photos show an overwhelming police and media presence at the rally organized by former Trump campaign staffer Matt Baynard to protest the treatment of the January 6 mob who were arrested and charged in connection with the Capitol riot.

Authorities said Friday that more than 27 law enforcement agencies in the area were involved in securing the rally to limit the threat of violence.

Supporters of those charged in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol attend the ‘Justice for J6’ rally near the U.S. Capitol September 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Justice for J6
Supporters of those charged in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol attend the ‘Justice for J6’ rally near the U.S. Capitol September 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Justice for J6 police
Police monitor the scene as supporters of those charged in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol attend the ‘Justice for J6’ rally near the U.S. Capitol September 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Justice for J6
Supporters of those charged in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol attend the ‘Justice for J6’ rally near the U.S. Capitol September 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Justice for J6
Supporters of those charged in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol attend the ‘Justice for J6’ rally near the U.S. Capitol September 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Justice for J6
Police in riot gear stand in front of the U.S. Capitol during the ‘Justice for J6’ rally in support of those charged in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on September 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Justice for J6
Police in riot gear monitor the scene as supporters of those charged in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol attend the ‘Justice for J6’ rally near the U.S. Capitol September 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

One man was arrested on a weapons violation for welding a knife around 12:40 p.m., before the rally commenced. Another man allegedly carrying a handgun was arrested around 1:30 p.m., according to Capitol Police. Two other arrests were reportedly made throughout the day, but details surrounding those are currently unclear.

“At this time, it is not clear why the man was at the demonstration,” authorities said.

As “Justice for J6” attendees gathered at the Capitol, counterprotesters arrived at the Freedom Plaza about a mile away, prompting fears of a clash between the two opposing groups. But there were no major clashes between protesters and counterprotesters by Saturday afternoon.

Justice for J6 counterprotesters
Counter-protestors gather at Freedom Plaza as supporters of those charged in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol attend the Justice for J6 rally near the U.S. Capitol September 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Al Drago/Getty Images
Justice for J6 counterprotesters
Sarah and Bruce Douglass, from Fairfax, Va., speak with members of the media as counter-protestors gather at Freedom Plaza as supporters of those charged in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol attend the Justice for J6 rally near the U.S. Capitol September 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Al Drago/Getty Images
Justice for J6
Counter-protestors raise their fists at Freedom Plaza as supporters of those charged in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol attend the Justice for J6 rally near the U.S. Capitol September 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Al Drago/Getty Images

Braynard told Newsweek earlier this week that the rally would “100 percent” be peaceful and only aims to show support for the nonviolent Trump supporters who were arrested and charged in connection to the January 6 insurrection.

“We favor lawful prosecution and speedy trials for anyone who did commit violence on January 6 and condemn their actions,” Braynard said. “We are cooperating completely with multiple different police forces to ensure that everyone is safe. Anyone with the intent of committing violence has no business at our rally.”

Ahead of the rally, far-right protesters had actively discouraged their supporters from showing up with warnings that the federal government set up the event to capture more Trump supporters.

Trump called the rally a “setup” in an interview with The Federalist on Thursday. “If people don’t show up they’ll say, ‘Oh, it’s a lack of spirit.’ And if people do show up they’ll be harassed,” the former president said.

The baseless “false flag” theory quickly spread on right-ring social media platforms and likely contributed to the low attendance.

Justice for J6 photos Trump Capitol rioters
The U.S. Capitol is seen behind security fencing on September 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. Security in Washington, DC has been increased in preparation for the Justice for J6 Rally.
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

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