About 300 people gathered at the corner of Highway 95 and Appleway Avenue in Coeur d’Alene on Wednesday to laud President Donald Trump as a fighter against tyranny, label the recent elections as fraudulent and encourage supporters to “fight back.”
The event was organized by the group North Idaho Freedom Fighters. Honking horns and the cheering crowd at times drowned out the two speakers. Those attending carried American flags and Trump flags in addition to signs that said things like “We the people resist,” “Stop the Steal” and “Idaho is Trump Country.”
Organizer Amy McCamly urged the maskless crowd to move in closer so they could hear the speakers over the traffic sounds.
“There’s lots of room in front,” she said. “We’re not afraid of the coronavirus, so crowd on in.”
She said Idaho residents have been slowly losing their freedoms as authorities create rules to try to slow the spread of COVID-19. She urged people to stand up, start fighting back and say no.
“My daughters do not deserve the way they’ve been living for nine months,” she said. “We’re not going to take it anymore.”
Dave Reilly, an author and former Indiana radio host who resigned from his job in 2017 after attending a white supremacist rally, praised the size of the crowd and said more would have come if they weren’t elsewhere.
“They’re in D.C. storming the Capitol,” he said as the crowd cheered.
Reilly said he used to be a liberal. “I know how the enemy fights,” he said.
He said that when Democrats and the media call Trump racist they’re really slandering his supporters.
“That’s what they’re really calling all of you,” he said. “And we’re not going to take it anymore, are we?”
The November elections were fraudulent, Reilly said, repeating a popular and false rallying cry among Trump loyalists.
“This election was rigged and it was stolen from us, the American people,” he said. “There’s more votes in Pennsylvania than registered voters.”
According to numerous fact checkers and the Pennsylvania Department of State, that statement is incorrect . The election results have been certified in all 50 states.
Reilly called out police officers, the FBI and recently defeated Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler for lacking integrity, said Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas supported degeneracy, called Democrats pedophiles and claimed the CIA has been smuggling drugs, children and money. He also called out Vice President Mike Pence.
“Mike Pence just released a letter saying he’s not going to do what he’s supposed to do,” he said of Pence’s ceremonial role in counting the Electoral College votes. A few shouts of “traitor” rose from the crowd.
He railed against vaccines and “irrational mandates” imposed because of the pandemic. “This is not about keeping us safe,” he said. “It’s about control.”
But hope is not lost, Reilly said. “We have hope here in North Idaho,” he said. “Even though the entire world is seemingly against us, we have God on our side.”
Reilly said Trump’s supporters need to primary Republican office holders who have not supported the president. He said their goal should also be to recruit people to serve on local school boards and city councils.
“They want us crushed,” he said. “We’re not going to let that happen.”
Michael Ashley, an author who runs the “Changing the Story” podcast, said America is an ideal, not just a country, and that ideal is in danger of slipping away.
“We’re losing our livelihoods,” he said. “We’re losing our freedom. This moment is just as important as the founding of the republic.”
People need to band together to change the story for America, Ashley said.
“Right now, Donald Trump is the only world leader who is standing against oppression, against tyranny.”
Coeur d’Alene resident Beverly Guenette held a sign that said, “Hell hath no fury like a country stolen.” She said she came to the rally because she believed the election was fraudulent. “I think the election has been stolen from the people,” she said. “I cannot believe Vice President Biden got more votes than Obama.”
She said she’s not in favor of mail-in voting because ballots are mailed to everyone. “Mail-in voting is different than absentee voting,” she said.
Guenette said she also believes that all voter registration rolls should be wiped clean and people forced to re-register with photo identification.
“Now I’m beginning to think California and Washington haven’t been done correctly for the last two decades,” she said. “I think our whole election system needs to be revamped.”
As the final speaker wrapped up, McCamly took the microphone.
“Supposedly they’re taking the Capitol and taking out Pence,” she said.
The crowd cheered.