A grassroots U.S. nationalist movement is leading the pro-Trump event dubbed "#M.O.A.R.: Mother of all Rallies" on Saturday, Sept. 16 on the National Mall, Washington, D.C. Calling itself the "Woodstock of American rallies" on its website, the rally's mission statement says that the event's purpose is to defend traditional American culture and values while representing the voice of "mainstream Americans."
The description does not define what exactly is a "mainstream American" nor directly mention President Trump's name, but it does mention that participants should back the "America First" agenda adopted by the Trump administration. The event also posted pro-Trump memorabilia on its Facebook page, and lists multiple Trump supporters as speakers and performers. Latinos for Trump founder Marco Gutierrez, Christian conservative podcaster Monica Matthews, rock band Madison Rising, and Hamody Jasmin, author of The Terrorist Whisperer: The Story of the Pro American, are among the names on the list. MOAR will host panel discussions during the event, but the topics have not been published.
The nationalist rally will compete for attention against at least 30 other events in the same area that day, including the Race to Beat Cancer 5k charity run and the Juggalo March on Washington, where fans of the horror-rap duo Insane Clown Posse, called Juggalos, will protest their FBI classification as a "hybrid gang."
At least 2,000 people have marked themselves as "Going" on the MOAR Facebook event page.
Organizers of MOAR mention one major rule: Only the American flag will be allowed at the demonstration — no Confederate or foreign country flags. Despite the political nature of their planned speakers — many of whom skew far-right — organizers claim that MOAR is a nonpartisan rally focused on uniting patriots under their Constitutional rights. The website says:
Anyone who would protest this rally is protesting America and showing themselves to be the very domestic enemies our founding fathers warned us about. Anyone attempting to silence us is committing a direct assault on our Constitutional rights of free assembly.
It is unclear if there are plans for a counter-protest, but one is likely after thousands of counter-protesters managed to upstage the "Boston Free Speech" rally in August.
MOAR's organizing team is made up of individuals and organizations that express what some might call fanatical patriotism on their publicly linked Facebook pages. Andy "The Gun Guy" Hallinan wrote in his occupation as journalist and "commander in chief' at Florida Gun Supply. Tammy "NeverHillary" Lee, so far the only woman individual listed on the MOAR team, is affiliated with American Freedom Keepers. Far-right media site the Red Elephant includes members who have been accused of promoting white supremacy and anti-semitism.
MOAR's founder, who goes by Tommy Gunn, says in an event video that the demonstration is "not a Donald Trump rally" and invites people of all races who are "pro-American." But photos on the rally's website show Gunn and his colleagues wearing shirts that say Trump and "Right Wing Death Squad." Many of them also make the OK hand signal that has been appropriated by the alt-right movement.
While people have used the term "fringe group" to label the extreme nationalists and white supremacists who make up the loosely defined alt-right movement, others are not sure if the alt-right can still be considered fringe. The Facebook pages of the MOAR organizers, performers, and speakers have gathered hundreds of thousands of fans. The Mother of All Rallies also comes after a string of other like-minded controversial protests, such as the Boston Free Speech and Unite The Right rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, a white nationalist demonstration that erupted in violence and the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer.
The Mother of All Rallies is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. ET on the north end of the National Mall near the Washington Monument.