MIAMI — As state capitols and cities across the country prepare for potential violence over the weekend in the wake of the attack on the U.S. Capitol fueled by President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud, planned rallies of supporters at the Freedom Tower in downtown Miami and La Carreta restaurant on Bird Road proved peaceful.
And also small.
About a dozen people waved flags along Biscayne Boulevard at noon and repeated allegations of election tampering that have been rejected by a string of state and federal courts and also dismissed by all but the most fervent followers of the outgoing president, who was impeached this week for a historic second time after a Jan. 6 speech that critics say turned a protest into a mob assault on Congress by supporters demanding he stay in office.
Bob Kunst, 78, had been to more than a few pro-Trump rallies, big and small.
“This is my 208th event for Trump in the past five years,” said the longtime activist from Miami Beach.
The main reaction to this one were supportive honks and occasional obscenities from passersby on Biscayne Boulevard, including a group of women dancing in a passing open-air Rumba Miami party bus who offered obscene hand signals to the Trump supporters outside the Freedom Tower. Kunst checked them off as one of three displays of anti-Trump sentiment, easily eclipsed by his supporters driving by.
“We had 35 honks,” Kunst said. “That’s pretty good.”
Rose Roque, 80, sat in a lawn chair wearing one of the We The People T-shirts for sale nearby for $10.
“My story is: I love my president,” she said. “The election was a fraud, completely.”
Devotion to Trump has become part of the weekend routine near one of Miami-Dade’s most popular Cuban restaurants, a tradition that continued as the sun set Saturday.