Small group mobilizes in Phoenix to support January 6 insurgency
Several dozen people gathered on the Arizona Capitol lawn in Phoenix on Saturday for the “Justice for January 6” rally. The event was a localized version of the uncrowded Washington, DC rally a week earlier, and similar events had been announced in other states.
The rally at the Arizona Capitol began just after 2 p.m. with a prayer for those in jail.
Federal prosecutors charged hundreds of people with crimes in the January 6 riots, in which insurgents smashed doors and windows on the United States Capitol, assaulted police officers, stole property from congressional offices and threatened to kill elected officials, including then-vice president Mike Pence. .
Five people died during and after the riots. That day, rioters stormed the building in an attempt to disrupt proceedings, chaired by Pence, who officially certified the election of President Joe Biden and the defeat of former President Donald Trump.
Although the crowd at the Arizona Capitol on Saturday was small, a number of politicians spoke, including Congressman Jeff Zink, State Representative Walter Blackman and former State Representative Anthony Kern.
The rally was also attended by a group of self-proclaimed Proud Boys, a far-right group with a history of violent confrontations – and by a Phoenix man charged in the January 6 riot who, as a condition of his release from prison, promised a federal court not to associate with the Proud Boys.
Blackman, during his speech, welcomed the group. “I believe those are the proud boys over there,” he said. “Let me tell you something about the Proud Boys. The Proud Boys came to one of my events and it was one of the proudest moments of my life.”
Zink, who previously told The Arizona Republic he attended the Jan.6 event, is a candidate for Congress. He spoke of his son, who was arrested for participating in the riot.
Zink said he condemned “everything that happened with the destruction of the federal government building,” but claimed the violence was committed by antifa members and was wrongly attributed to Trump supporters.
His son, Ryan Zink, had uploaded a video documenting his actions that day. In one, Ryan Zink stood in front of his camera phone, saying, “We’ve knocked down the doors! We’re storming the Capitol!”
Ryan Zink, who lives in Texas, was later arrested and charged with several riot-related crimes. In the court records, prosecutors presented other online messages from Zink that they retrieved, including one that read: “Literally, inside the shots fired on the ground, there is a fire and gas and flash explosions were used, several serious injuries were reported. “
In another private message, Ryan Zink wrote: “I broke down the doors, pushed Congress out of the session, took two flash bangs, it’s okay”, and later: “I’m afraid that the time for riots is over, better clean up those weapons and invest in level 4 armor. “
Jeff Zink said on Saturday that his son is one of many whose lives and livelihoods have been unfairly disrupted due to their association with the events of January 6.
Also addressing the crowd was Micajah Jackson, a Phoenix resident who was charged after the January 6 riot.
Micajah Jackson claimed that the “radical” US government, which was under Trump at the time of the riot, used organizations such as the FBI and the Capitol Police to “stage a coup against patriotic Americans like me. and hundreds of thousands more who are still being persecuted. “
Jackson faces federal charges for knowingly entering or staying in a building or restricted land, as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct related to the riot.
The federal criminal complaint against Jackson shows photographs of him walking outside the Capitol alongside members of the Proud Boys. He then told FBI agents that he traveled alone and admitted that the Proud Boys gave him an orange armband to wear. The criminal complaint alleges that Jackson walked past a person who shouted through a megaphone, “Whose streets?” The group responded by shouting, “Our streets.
As part of his terms of release, Jackson agreed to “not associate with the Proud Boys or anyone the accused knows to be associated with the Proud Boys.”
Of the few dozen people present at the rally, one group included people wearing “Proud Boys” T-shirts.
Jackson said at the small rally on Saturday, “We are going to restore law and order to this country and bring God back to this nation and take back our local communities, our school boards, and put our agenda back in order. America. “
Kern, the Arizona politician, has been pictured in several locations outside of the Capitol raid, but has repeatedly insisted he did not violate the building himself. On Saturday he said: “I was there on January 6th. January 6 is a big lie. It was not an insurrection. It was not a betrayal.
Kern, who went on to take part in the partisan recount of the Arizona Senate ballot even though his name was on the ballots he was supposed to count, refused to deliver any messages or tapes regarding his trip to the January 6 event.
His attorney, responding to requests for public documents from the Republic of Arizona, said Kern attended the rally as a private figure who had “completed active service as a public servant at the time of the riots.” In fact, however, Kern was still a member of the Legislative Assembly. He ran for office and lost, but the new legislature was not sworn in until five days after the riot.
Couy Griffin, New Mexico County Commissioner and leader of a group called “Cowboys for Trump,” also attended the event in Arizona. Griffin was at the January 6 riot. Later, at a Jan. 14 meeting of the Otero County Council of Commissioners, he told the meeting that he planned to pack guns to return to Washington for the dedication.
Although Griffin is charged with unauthorized entry and disorderly conduct, he said on Saturday he was on Capitol Hill peacefully praying for the nation alongside thousands of others. Drawing cheers and applause from a few dozen people, he described January 6 as “the most incredible day of my life”.