“Bikers for Trump,” a coalition of pro-President Donald Trump motorcyclists, said they are prepared to push back against the thousands of people seeking to disrupt Trump’s inauguration.
Mark Connors, who rode to Washington, D.C., from San Diego on his motorcycle, told USA Today that he and his fellow bikers arrived to help make sure things don’t get out of hand.
“Bikers for Trump is here to protect the citizens,” Connors said, adding: “We have made the decision that when those [protesters] come we are going to stand face-to-face with them, eye-to-eye, toe-to-toe, shoulder-to-shoulder with my brothers.”
Other members stressed that they respect the protesters’ First Amendment rights and said they hope the demonstrations remain peaceful.
“As long as it’s peaceful, the biker community is here to see a peaceful transition of power,” R.C. Pittman of Florida Bikers for Trump told WRC-TV. “The First Amendment guarantees them the right to protest. It guarantees them the right to say anything they want. It doesn’t give them the right to get violent.”
Leticia Stanley, a Brazilian immigrant and member of Bikers for Trump, said she supports Trump’s hardline stance on immigration.
“I am an immigrant myself, and for me to get all the papers that I needed to become a citizen was a very hard process,” she said. “And I did it the right way. And there are a lot of immigrants that do not do that. They come here illegally and I do not agree with that.”
Tens of thousands of bikers are expected to attend the inaugural events. They were issued a permit by the D.C. mayor’s office to hold a rally in John Marshall Plaza.
Ultimately, the organization hopes to become a political force to be reckoned with.
“We want to show [that] this [biker] demographic has sustainability for the Republican Party,” the movement’s founder, Chris Cox, told Newsweek.
Sources: USA Today, WRC-TV, Newsweek / Photo credit: Max Pixel