WASHINGTON — Determined to overturn the results of an election they believe was rigged, hundreds of Trump supporters from New England descended on the nation’s capital early Wednesday morning for the “Save America” rally.
The largely peaceful event preceded the chaos on the Capitol grounds.
25 Investigates has learned residents from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont boarded DC-bound buses on Tuesday evening and made the nine-hour trip, determined to have their voices heard. It was an effort weeks in the making and was widely talked about on social media.
Video obtained by 25 Investigates shows supporters of President Trump boarding buses at a park and ride in Plymouth preparing to “take our country back.” Buses also departed New Bedford, Newton, West Springfield, Concord, New Hampshire, and South Burlington, Vermont, according to social media posts and event participants we spoke to.
Adam Lange from Brewster, a leader of the United Cape Patriots, told 25 Investigates he help coordinate the bus trip but did not make the trip himself. He was, however, in close contact with people who did and condemned the events that unfolded.
“I think all political violence is unacceptable,” said Lange. “I think there’s a tendency by the media to expect Trump supporters like myself to accept political violence. Not at all.”
According to Lange, he’s not aware of anyone from the Massachusetts contingent involved in the violence or storming the Capitol building.
“I talked to some folks riding home last night on the bus. They were on the steps to the Capitol. hey could have went in, they chose not to,” he said.
Dean Poirier, a former corrections officer from New Hampshire, attended the DC rally. He helped organize the bus trip from Concord through his group Veterans First Foundation.
“As far as when they actually broke into the door, you could hear a roar of the crowd,” he told 25 Investigates, adding that he did not go inside the Capitol.
“It didn’t seem like [security] cared. It didn’t seem like they were trying to stop them because they didn’t have people positioned in a way that you ever could have,” said Poirier.
He adds that the violence was not preplanned and no one was aware that individuals were going to storm the Capitol.
Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, are trying to identify those who breached security.
At least one person from Massachusetts was arrested in connection with the unrest. 25 Investigates has learned 33-year old David Ross from Pittsfield was charged with unlawful entry and a curfew violation.
The DC Metropolitan Police reports 68 arrests were made in connection with the unrest. The youngest was a 19-year-old male from Maryland and the oldest a 72-year old from Wyoming. About a dozen people from Pennsylvania were also arrested, the most from any state.
Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.