Three East Texas men who were part of the group protesting the 2020 election results said their experience was peaceful overall.
Robert Holcomb and Randy Wilbanks of Palestine and Randy's son, Bozy Wilbanks of Jacksonville, were in Washington, D.C. Wednesday, Jan. 6 for President Donald Trump's rally, organized to challenge the election result.
Holcomb said they left Tuesday, Jan. 5, pulling an RV and driving straight through for 24-hours, taking a short nap after their arrival.
They parked approximately eight blocks from where the rally was to take place. When they approached the Washington Monument they got separated in the crowd.
Holcomb and Bozy both described the group as peaceful and neither said they had any fear or hesitation navigating the crowd.
Both Holcomb and the Wilbanks said there was no law enforcement or military presence to be seen, although what he suspected were a few secret service men were visible in the crowd.
They also observed their cell phones would not work inside the rally area, but immediately started working outside of it.
Both men said time flew by once they arrived at the rally and within an hour, Trump gave his speech, which they said seemed to last only a few minutes. Once the speech concluded the crowd dispersed and the men returned to their vehicle instead of making the walk to the Capitol building.
Holcomb’s cousin from Fort Worth, Melissa Spradlin Bradley, who was also at the rally, made the trip to the Capitol building.
He said Bradley told him there was a man on a megaphone inviting rally goers into the Capitol building.
“As if it was OK, just come on in,” Holcomb said.
Both men took pictures and videos of the rally and march from their respective locations, which were both within 100 yards of the platform where Trump spoke.
Both said the conversational buzz in the crowd was that something big was going to happen before the inauguration Wednesday, Jan. 20.
The three men said they made the trip back to Texas safely, driving straight through in 21 hours.