Thursday, January 7, 2021

After Action Report from the "March to Save America" -UPDATED-

At around 4:15 AM on January 6th, I woke up and got prepared for the March. I'd coordinated with a buddy and we had decided to travel very light in the hope that small packs and no objectionable equipment would facilitate our entry into the Ellipse to listen up close to President Trump's speech. The forecast was for sunny mid-40s with mild winds, so I dressed lightly, figuring that we'd be doing a lot of walking from Union Station to the Ellipse, back to the Capital and then to Union Station. I left the gas mask, plates, and shin and elbow guards behind, along with my warm Korean surplus parka (I'd particularly miss the parka) but did wear my level 3 soft armor under fire retardant shirt and pants and a light wind breaker. I was avoiding fleece and the like as it burns well and Antifa is known to use Molotovs. Wool is very itchy.  If the authorities were particularly vindictive they might close down the commuter rail and Metro, forcing an evacuation on foot, as well, so minimal gear was the word of the day.

We caught a commuter rail connection to DC arriving in Union Station around 7 AM with no delays, and elected to walk to the Ellipse, which for those who are not familiar with Mordor-on-the-Potomac, faces the Washington Monument and the North side of the National Mall between 15th and 17th streets, about 1 ¾ miles from the train station. I was surprised to see a very large anti-Chinese Communist Party contingent made up primarily of Asians. There were dozens and dozens of vehicles with BIG anti- CCP signs on them, and a very large number of Asians working the crowds around the Capitol and later around the Washington Monument for signatures to petitions to outlaw the CCP. We saw a number of overt covered spotter locations, presumably backed by snipers, in the Union Station/Capitol hill area, along Constitution and around the Ellipse and White House, manned by people with what looked like stabilized binoculars and video cameras. We had learned on the way in that the DC mayor had closed all convenience stores by executive fiat, all gas stations, and attempted to close all the hotels Tuesday night.

It was colder than forecast, with solid overcast and a wicked wind blowing hard from the SSW, and despite my effort to keep up with my longer legged buddy, I was not warm. We arrived at the Ellipse around 820 to find that the line to get into the Ellipse area was well over a mile long ( some said 2 miles) and moving at a glacial pace as the White House security team screened everyone attempting to enter. (Later that morning we heard an announcement that despite what was published in the event announcement, that NO packs at all would be allowed, among other changes.) There were a very large number of porta-johns….. inside the Ellipse. ALL of the other public buildings were closed, so females had issues finding facilities, and those few outside the Ellipse were filthy, with very long lines to get to them. Males with long coats and women with dresses could use a pee bottle but I saw no woman wearing a dress.

After a brief conversation my buddy and I agreed that there was no way we'd get in before things kicked off at 9 and we elected to secure a vantage point near the crest of the hill with the Washington Monument on top. (As an aside, it is clear that the National Park Service has learned nothing about barricades since Barry Soetero was living in the Spite House, as the patriots simply unbolted, lifted, or otherwise moved the US Park Service barriers out of the way. They had barricaded all sorts of monuments and the Capitol, and folks simply moved the unguarded ones out of the way. The Park Service wisely turned a blind eye, and in some cases so did the DC and Capitol Police.)

As time went on, the crowd grew steadily.  We estimated the attendees based on how full the space between 15th and 17th street and Constitution and the Monument was (around 1.3 million square feet.) We estimated about 20,000 to maybe 30,000 attendees at around 8:20 and this number continued to grow to something close to 200,000 until I left around 11:00. This does not include all the people on the way in, on Constitution and elsewhere on the Mall; my guess (and that is all that is, a guess) is that the total by 1 PM was somewhere around 300,000, possibly as many as 400,000 people there. These folks came from all over the country; we met people from close in states but also Colorado, Montana, Ohio,  and saw flags representing a number of other states. Being in the early stages of hypothermia I knew I needed to warm up, and I headed back to Union Station to thaw out a bit and eat some lunch. We had connected with some other friends who came in via Metro at around 10 o'clock and found us using some Baofeng radios, so my buddy, who wanted to hear the President speak, was not by himself.

The President was scheduled to speak at around 11, but had not started when I left; I spent the next hour and a half getting to Union Station, eating a hot lunch, and thawing out in the train station. Once I had finished my lunch and gotten feeling back into my feet, per my arrangements, I texted my buddy and made arrangements to meet up. Just before 1 PM, I headed out to meet my friends, who were with a large body of Patriots who had moved up the Mall from the Ellipse area and were surrounding the Capitol on three sides. As I walked toward the Capitol building along Delaware from Union Station, I heard all sorts of radio chatter and saw people swarming the West side of the Capitol. There were all sorts of police, Capitol and DC, going everywhere. It looked as if an anthill had been kicked. Apparently things had changed while I was thawing out.

As I continued to walk closer to the Capitol along Delaware street, calling my friends on my radio and listening for their response, I noticed that some of the chatter was related to entering the Capitol building, and I heard one voice say that they had opened multiple doors to the outside and “There are thousands on the inside.” I was stunned at that news but was primarily focused on connecting with the rest of my group while avoiding Antifa/BLM, who were present both overtly and somewhat covertly. On the West side of the Capitol there were a large number of officers defending the barrier on the East side of Constitution, perpendicular to Delaware. They were not allowing the public to cross towards the Capitol, despite thousands of demonstrators streaming North between Constitution and the West side of the Capitol. There was a clear gap in command and control of these officers, male and female, who were nervous, not in riot gear and ignoring all the Patriots behind them. I had no idea what was going to happen next.  My focus shifted from meeting my friends to leaving and I bent all my efforts toward meeting my friends and getting us out.

We rendezvoused at 3rd and Madison. My friends did not know that the Capitol had been entered, with large numbers of demonstrators inside the capitol; smart phones, as I had expected, had trouble getting connectivity. I learned later that tear gas had been employed, but had blown back on those using it, and that the march on the Capitol had apparently been sparked by the lack of clear direction from Trump's speech, combined with the rapidly disseminated knowledge of Pence's non-action on throwing out the electors from the states in which fraud was most egregious. It was clear that the situation had devolved considerably and that there were a very large number of irate Americans who had breached some of the various barriers surrounding and inside the capitol.

The anti-Communists were not swayed; their vehicles were still parked along Constitution and 3rd and nearby streets, and they had organized a huge line of people holding a long banner stretched along 3rd Street between Madison and Jefferson streets, with somebody with a heavy accent on a PA system shouting various slogans, like “Stop the Steal!” “Stop the Communists!” and “USA!” accompanied by heavy drums, which I did not see (electronic?) Something to keep in mind; the Asian community clearly knows what life under a totalitarian regime is like.

We learned later that the Congresscritters were told to shelter in place, and the Capitol was locked down as they cleared it of protesters. As we made our way to the train station, police, ambulances and fire trucks screamed toward the Capitol. I left my radio on and among other interesting things heard one of the earlier voices say “we made it to the Balcony!” Shortly afterwards, I heard a new voice say “ get out of there! Get to the rally point!” The familiar voice argued for staying, and the new voice said “They've authorized lethal force- Get out NOW and get to the rally point!” I heard no further debate, nor did I hear more from those voices. That afternoon we heard that lethal force had not only been authorized but had been used, with at least two unarmed Patriots being shot.

As we walked, we saw continued chaos around the Capitol and heard more screaming sirens and an ongoing roar from the crowd. As we walked we got an emergency notice that DC had been placed on a 6 PM curfew. Later, as we waited for our return train, which left on time, we heard that two unarmed people had been shot inside the Capitol, that Pence had been escorted out of the Capitol by secret tunnel by the Secret Service and that many demonstrators had been escorted out of the Capitol and a number arrested.

We arrived at Union Station safe and sound and eventually made our way home quietly, not needing to use any of the alternate or contingency planning for evacuation from Mordor-on-the-Potomac we had put together. I was glad I had spent time looking at the issue, however; that was time well spent.

A few take-aways:

  • Equipment, etc:

    • Proper clothing- Traveling light is one thing, but being under-dressed in the winter is potentially life-threatening. I thought I knew that, but apparently I needed a reminder, and boy howdy did I get one. Going in I had thought we'd be moving around more, but in the event we spent a long time standing still on the Mall, exposed to a constant wind. I got to the point that I was shivering all over in less than 3 hours. Walking warmed me up somewhat, but it was not until I was out of the wind in a heated environment for an extended period that I warmed up to the point of being able to feel my feet. A younger Historian would have shrugged this off, but at my age and condition it was an issue. Having a parka or a poncho liner would have made the difference. Hypothermia is a weapon, and Patriots need to keep this in mind.

    • What I did not bring- I had packed a larger backpack with a gas mask, knee and elbow pads, armored helmet, and had available a parka, a plate carrier and other gear (poncho, liner, rope etc.) but decided that since we wanted to enter the controlled area that I'd keep to a small butt pack and leave the other gear at home. In hindsight, not only were we unable to get to the access point early enough to get in, but the crowd was huge and the access control screening completely inadequate for the numbers of folks trying to enter. We probably should have packed proper protective equipment, especially in light of the use of tear gas on the protesters.  The wind that had chilled me was our ally at that moment, but it would be folly to count on the wind in future. I do not know what all of the weapons used to shoot the unarmed Patriots, but at least one woman was shot with a 5.56 suppressed carbine, which argues in favor of plates in lieu of soft armor

    • What I brought- first aid items, including a GSW kit and multiple CATs, 2 liters of water, purification tablets, maps of the area, 2 compasses and a GPS, a copy of the mission plan, spare radios preprogrammed for the frequencies selected, emergency food as well as lunch and snacks, spare socks, and emergency candles, 2 pr gloves, alcohol & wipes, and all my other EDC stuff. I did not need any first aid supplies, or any of the E&E material, but I was glad to have it nonetheless.

    • Casualty care- I had decent first aid, but no way to transport a casualty without my poncho, and that gap bothers me. In the context of a peaceful rally, probably not something to be overly concerned about, but it was several hundred yards from the center of the Mall to the nearest roadway, the shortest possible distance for pickup. Had things gone kenetic given the crowds and the chaos, we may well have had to transport a severely injured person to Georgetown, and without help that was not happening.More thought needed on this.


    •  UPDATE- Matt Bracken mentioned optics;  I had a compact set of binoculars that I did not use, and in hindsight I wish I had brought my Nikon 7x50 binoculars and a optics cloth to keep them defogged.  He also pointed out that an AM/FM radio helped keep him updated on events, another item I elected not to bring, and in hindsight should have.

  • Personal fitness- I need more time on the treadmill and more rucking. I'm older than I thought I'd get to be and pretty beat up, but things that ought not to have hurt after only 4+ miles of walking were damned sore. Packs are heavier than they used to be, too, so getting back into weight lifting is in order.

  • Sanitation-

    • Finding a place to 'take care of business' in the country is a non-issue, either urination or defecation. In a highly monitored hostile urban environment, it becomes a big issue, especially for women.

    • Public urination may be ignored by the police when a bum is urinating in the corner of an alley, but Patriots can expect immediate arrest for this sort of minor infraction,especially now that we are second class citizens.

    • I heard this issue brought up and discussed by the attendees during the event, especially those in line for one of the few public portajohns; defecation can be delayed, but for older folks, especially old men like me, when you have to urinate, you have to go! As noted, guys with long coats can use a pee bottle, but females need to plan ahead.

    • There are any number of 'stand to pee' devices women can use in conjunction with a pee bottle, among them “pStyle” and “SheWee” and if people, women especially, are going to operate in hostile urban areas, this issue needs to be considered and addressed. 

    • UPDATE- In comments, Matt Bracken suggested using a piss tube, another good option for dealing with male urination issues, and Linda Fox suggested using adult diapers, another good option.  I appreciate the suggestions. 
    • Hand washing is likewise something to consider ahead of time; we had alcohol gel and hand wipes to keep our hands clean, and wore gloves, as well.

  • Communications-

    • Good communications make a big difference especially if your group has split or detached elements; having backups for when cell and texts aren't working is a plus. If your circle of acquaintance does not have a plan for that, you need to correct that gap ASAP.

    • I have been thinking about this and I would expect that in any future protests that the authorities, as the Communists and other authoritarian regimes have done, will shut down cell and wifi services in the active area. Best to plan ahead, PACE yourself and remember that 2 is 1 and 1 is none.

  • Coordination or lack thereof, especially in large group actions-

    • My goal was to support the call by the President to come and demonstrate to the Congress that fraudulent elections are a bad idea. My comrades and I did that, as did thousands of other small groups of Americans, without any coordination with anybody.

    • Obviously, other folks had other goals, and even more obviously, somebody had a plan to get Patriots into the Capitol. That may or may not have been a good thing. The Left and the 4th Branch used this to their benefit to short-cut their stampede to stifle dissent, white-wash this coup and confer legitimacy upon it, but in the end the result would have been the same.

    • Most folks attending this rally had no idea that other people had a more evolved agenda in play, and even while the Capitol was being penetrated had no idea this was going on. This point is worth considering for the future; whatever your intentions or plans, you must prepare for other people having divergent ideas, and as noted above, having good situational awareness and communication is essential.  It is likely that future actions of this kind will be met with more force, so knowing what is going on outside your immediate area will become even more important.

    • Be prepared to coordinate with other like-minded groups on the fly, should your activities and theirs intersect. As the Resistance evolves and grows in activity, this is likely to become both more common and more important. Having your comm group investing in a PA for the majority of folks who have nothing besides a smart phone might be a worthwhile idea.

End result- 

As expected, Pence rolled over.  Trump was apparently either unwilling or unable to employ EO 13848 or the Insurrection Act, and at this point there seems to be no "1 minute to midnight" miracle to save the Republic.  The Swamp and the Left have ignored our warning of January 6th in their stampede to consolidate their coup. That is a great pity for all those living here, both those who love this country and those who do not.  As one of the many un-named veterans we talked to on the 6th told me: “ The US has been at war for 20 years, and there are tens of thousands of combat veterans who've learned how to do guerrilla war in Iraq and Afghanistan. If these stupid f#@%s (referring to the Democratic Congress) don't wake up, we will show them just how well we learned, from IEDs to snipers to targeted assassinations. We know how to make a country ungovernable, and they are two weeks away from getting exactly that. This election was completely illegitimate; they have declared war on us.”

Or as another person put it yesterday (not sure whether he was a vet or not)- “this is the people of the US being NICE. Today, we didn't kill anybody, we didn't burn anything, we didn't break any windows. We came unarmed to demonstrate our resolve, not to hurt anybody. We were politely but firmly telling the Swamp that this BS is going to stop. But if we come back again, we will NOT be nice.”

I've just read that Trump has abandoned his attempt to defeat the coup, and agreed that Biden will be inaugurated on the 20th. The coup is now accomplished and the Left and the Swamp at that time will be in control of the Federal Government of these presently united States. Patriot blood was shed, and a Patriot died yesterday at the hands of the Left and their thugs; reports are that 3 people died from "medical issues. Joe Biden was quoted today as saying “ this was not protest; it’s insurrection!”

Take note of how your would-be rulers classified our peaceful protest to their election theft and coup. Their fraud and theft is perfectly acceptable, but our objections are insurrection, according to them, and those engaged in insurrection deserve to be shot. They evidently believe that, since they've already done it.

Here we are. We shall see what happens next.


With regard to all who seek and defend the Light,




SWVAguy said...

Why did citizens storm the Capitol? How could the festive atmosphere that was on display suddenly turn into an insurrection? Antifa was most likely at play for some of the ugliness.
But what of the reaction? President Trump fostered this is what we're hearing from on high and the media. Trump's people are abandoning him. There are calls for invoking the 25th amendment, and if that isn't put into play, then ANOTHER impeachment is in the cards.
What the anointed don't understand is WHY. Well, for one thing, we're fed up. Whether the election(s) were rigged are not, there are a host of other things that are pissing us off. We deplorables (a moniker which I wear proudly) have been accused of being nazis, racists, every "phobe" one can think of, and some that haven't been thought of yet. We're intolerant, we're uneducated, we're hayseeds and we smell bad. They don't know us, and haven't a clue why we feel this way. We've been fed buckets of slop for years and told "you don't like it?, here's some more."
The long fuse was lit a long time ago, and it finally ignited the TNT.
God help us all.

Historian said...

I'd not have called it festive, exactly, but more expectant. My assessment is that a lot of folks were looking for Trump to pull a rabbit out of his hat, for him to invoke the Insurrection Act or EO 13848, and when it became clear that was not in the program, the mood shifted and got darker. I have no idea whether Trump had other plans when he called for the March, but it was clear that by the time the event came out he had nothing beyond his list of election law violations. A lot of people left the Ellipse area before Trump finished his speech and went toward the Capitol building fanning out to cover the West, South and East sides; I was surprised when I was told that my friends were already at the Capitol well before 1 PM when the March was not planned to start until 1 PM.

While it is true that there were a significant number of women and teens present at the Ellipse, there were a lot of men who had the look of veterans from their late 20s to much older. I'd guess between 5% and 10% of the attendees were veterans; we talked to some of these vets while we were there and they were disgusted with the obvious fraud employed in the recent election, and were surprisingly outspoken about their intent to restore liberty by any means necessary. They consider the incoming administration illegitimate.

We shall see what happens.

SWVAguy said...

Historian, I stand corrected on my assessment.


The DC and Capitol police along with other federal law enforcement has plenty of time and resources to implement and enforce adequate security elements and measures to stop any intrusion on Capital grounds and structures.

They did not. Was this negligence or planned ?Looking back over the past 4 years forces within the government have used every opportunity to frame Trump and wreck his administration. I suspect this was another attempt to sabatoge the president.

As for the occupation forces, they were young, strong, athletic, coordinated and not afraid. Had they been armed with explosives, accelerants, the Capital would still be burning. I suspect pro Trump demonstrators were infiltrated by communist insurgents. I suspect the gap in police security was planned and conspired with the communist invaders. The FBI and CIA has plenty of experience in carrying out False Flag operations. I suspect they had a hand in this event

Unknown said...

Thank you for this thorough and enlightening account. We had no idea what was going on, except some people had broken into the Capitol building, but nothing was ever said about how many people were there, and what happened with the majority who did not enter the building. The media only concentrating on the bad parts, as expected, and said nothing about the rest of the day.

Frankly, I'm disgusted at all our government except the few Congress people who stood up for the President and the rule of law, and President Trump. They deserve anything that comes at them now. They supported and are going to put in power an illegitimate administration controlled by China and other foreign entities, and they are fools if they aren't aware they are just useful tools. We the People deserve better!

Matt Bracken said...

I was there with a few friends. We stayed at a motel in Alexandria at the end of the Yellow Line (Huntington Station) and had no issues coming into L'Enfant Plaza, near the Smithsonian on the south side of the middle of the Mall, midway between the Washington Monument and the Capitol. I've been to other Trump rallies, so I brought a good size ruck containing lots of snacks and warm layers. I had no intention of getting through security, relying on Jumbotron screens and binoculars to watch the speeches and finally Trump. We took up a position near the Washington Monument where we could watch everything. After the speech, we moved down the mall toward the Capitol, but by the time we were near the Air and Space Museum, reports were already coming in about tear gas and people breaching the building, a shooting, and a curfew.

As far as going to the bathroom, for the men we were able to make a little crowd around a big tree off of the mall away from people, and take turns taking a piss while the others made a visual wall, just an idea.

I brought a tiny AM-FM radio, it was invaluable when most wireless devices were not working, the little radio could relay local broadcast news reports. This was the first way we heard about the shooting and curfew, for example.

Linda Fox said...

Two things:
- Having been prescribed meds that caused water retention and frequent urination, I can recommend Depends. Don't be embarassed about using them, it beats the other problems. You wouldn't WANT to do #2 in them, but you could.
- GMRS, a type of radio that can transmit up to 25-35 miles (terrain depending). More channels and range than FMRS, the lower cost option. You need a license to use them - but, no one checks (so, unless they are looking to find a charge to convict you on, you're good). Amazon has packs of multiple-radio setups, which is good when working with a group. Midland is the manufacturer with the best equipment.

Matt Bracken said...

Before I went to the event, a retired senior security official advised me to rig up a piss tube that goes down the pant leg to a retention bag tied to your calf. He said that during the career he was often posted in public places where he could not leave that spot for hours, hence the piss tube rig. I did not heed the advice, I wish I had. For an official in a suit on a sidewalk or street, the collection bag was required, but for a civilian who can walk around and find some turf, grass, dirt and bushes, just a tube that can be unbent at the bottom and led into the ground would be enough. Next time, if there is a next time, I'll do take his advice, but minus the collection bag. This might sound funny, but it's not funny when you are forced to "hold it" for hours and hours.

Historian said...


Your group and ours were in about the same location (along with about 5 or 10 thousand other folks!) I'd have enjoyed saying hello! I may have IDed the tree you refer to and saw it being used as you described to the SE of the Monument while we were linking up with the second part of our group, who came in to the Smithsonian station. We had initially set up due west of the south edge of the Monument about 50 yards from the west edge, but when we got the call that our folks were above ground we circled around the monument to get a better signal, then came back to about the same spot.

In hindsight, I should have brought the backpack with the gas mask and definitely should have brought a woobie or two and my parka. I had compact binocs but should have brought my bigger Nikons. CA suggested a AM/FM radio, and I thought of bringing one, but with the food, extensive first aid kit and extra socks, and extra HTs I was already out of room in the butt pack. My jacket pockets were full, too. I was resisting my usual temptation to overload myself, as we thought there was a possibility that if things went kinetic in a big way that the Metro and/or commuter trains might get shut down. I'll update my takeaway remarks to include optics and your AM/FM suggestion.

As regards the piss tube, it can work for guys, and I know equipment operators and especially tower crane operators use them a lot, but a widemouth bottle like a Gatorade or sports drink bottle works for both sexes. The bottle is easy to get, although women have to use an adaptor, (also easy to get) and you do need a longer coat or parka with reach through pockets for complete privacy. If you are in a scrum, you don't have to worry about getting kicked in the calf, either. London Fog overcoats and others have the reach through feature, and a poncho works, too.

With regard to all who seek and defend the Light,

Historian said...


GMTA; my brilliant wife also suggested adult diapers, and I gave it some thought, but in the end I decided that a pee bottle and a long coat were lower cost, more convenient options. It is still a good option to consider, and I may test these things out. My understanding is that some snipers use them while doing covert approaches to avoid releasing urine in their approach AO, reducing the likelihood of being tracked by dogs.

Swede said...

WRT comms, what is a PA?

Historian said...

PA stands for Public Address system; one common type is a bullhorn, but there are all sorts.

Swede said...

Got it, thank you!