Counter-protesters line up to create a shield wall. Photo credit: Tim Speier
Trump supporters gathered at the Governor’s Mansion Dec. 5 for the planned protest of the state shutdown that followed a “Stop the Steal” rally at the State Capitol. An organized counter-protest came out to show their frustration with the alt-right groups that had joined the protest. The rally at the capital had around 250 people with the protest at the Governor’s Mansion that immediately followed the rally having around 150 people. The counter-protest had between 100 to 150 people.
The protesters had around 20 to 24 long guns and multiple handguns in open carry. There were at least two visible open carry handguns seen with the counter-protesters.
Open carry is legal in Minnesota.
St. Paul Police Department Commander Joshua Lego said there were around 40 to 45 officers from SPPD that were present in-between the barricades and patrolling the area.
Additional officer including the State Patrol arrived prior to the counter-protest in multiple vehicles
The alt-right groups that were identified at the protest were the Boogaloo Bois, Proud Boys, and Three Percenters.
The counter-protest, at South Chatsworth Street and Summit Avenue, lasted a little over an hour before deciding to leave. Multiple counter-protesters were heard telling others that leaving to fight another day would accomplish more than being arrested.
Multiple vehicles parked along South Chatsworth Street had their tires slashed, windows spray-painted, and had water poured into their gas tanks.
** The following video has explicit language **
VIDEO: Wild end to Saturdays protest in St. Paul. After counter-protesters marched away, armed Back The Blue/Stop The Steal supporters were upset finding out police do not prevent crime after cars were vandalized. "We should fucking defund you, you’re not doing your goddamn job!” pic.twitter.com/6m580X4pMV
— daviss (@daviss) December 7, 2020
The protest outside the Governor’s Mansion has been the norm over the past few weeks ever since the Governor’s Executive Order 20-99 on Nov. 18.
Though the first few weekends brought out only a small number of counter-protesters, on Nov. 28 they came out in numbers to the “Stop the Steal Saturdays” protest organized by Hold The Line, MN.
During the Nov. 28 protest, both sides used pepper spray on one another and multiple scuffles broke out.
Proud Boys show up to a QAnon/Trump rally outside the Governor's Mansion open carrying canisters of pepper spray and big guns. Spraying and sucker punching counter protesters. Meanwhile, St. Paul Police stand by watching and telling people to get off the neighbors lawn. pic.twitter.com/FVSkcRkAlb
— daviss (@daviss) November 29, 2020
The State Patrol showed up to gain control of the situation, on Nov. 28, and the counter-protesters left the scene vowing to return on that next Saturday.
The following photo gallery is in chronological order of the events on Dec. 5.
This article was updated for grammar at 9:45 p.m. on Dec. 9.
Tim is a junior at St. Cloud State and is a marketing major. He enjoys ice fishing, hanging out with his wife and dogs, and spending all day barbecuing.
“In life, you should strive to be useful rather than being important. Anyone can be important.”