WASHINGTON, D.C. — Blazing sun and high humidity met hundreds of protesters, counter-protesters, neighborhood residents, police officers, and reporters Friday evening at Capitol Hill’s Lincoln Park. The protest, planned Tuesday, hoped to tear the monument of Abraham Lincoln with one hand on the Emancipation Proclamation freeing a slave, modeled by freedman Archer Alexander. It was paid for by local black residents and black Union veterans and dedicated by Frederick Douglass.
After a Tuesday rally promised to return to tear the statue down on Thursday, Park Police surrounded the monument with fencing re-enforced by Jersey barriers and stood guard night and day. Tension in the usually busy community park had been building since then, broken by short moments of music and happy protest.
The rally began slow, upsetting gathered bicycle Antifa supporters in masks and football helmets with their “centrist liberal bullshit,” but quickly broke into yelling when Don Folden, owner of Capital Buddy Tours took the microphone in his uniform. “Y’all young people don’t know shit!” he hollered into the crowd, beginning what would become a counter-protest within.