The rally was organized by Look Ahead America, a nonprofit organization that aims to give voice to “rural and blue-collar patriotic Americans who are disaffected and disenfranchised from the nation’s corridors of power.”
The group Saturday was protesting about 50 people who are being held in the D.C. jail, who they called “nonviolent American patriots.”
Matt Braynard, founder and executive director of Look Ahead America, invited people to read letters from inmates. In between songs and prayers, the crowd chanted and cheered, hoping those inside the jail could hear.
“We will never let this happen again,” Braynard said through a megaphone.
Barbara Turpin, 63, woke up at 3:30 in the morning to drive to D.C. from Rochester, N.Y., for the rally because her son, Dominic Pezzola, 44, was being held at the jail.
“Can you see me, honey?” Turpin said to her son on the phone while waving in the direction of where she believed his cell was located. A hand waved back through the sliver of window as Turpin wiped away tears.