John Block, a 23-year-old conservative from Santa Fe who attended Wednesday’s demonstration at the U.S. Capitol, said he made the trek to Washington, D.C., because he still believes Donald Trump is the winner of the presidential election.

Block, who founded a conservative news website called Piñon Post, attended the Trump rally in the hours before the breaching of the Capitol by rioters. Outfitted in his Make America Great Again hat, he said he didn’t get close to the building but stayed in the crowd near a platform that was being built for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

“Mostly we were just talking amongst ourselves about what is happening in the country,” he said of the mood at the demonstration. “Having conversations, listening to speeches, watching the crowd. There was always good conversation along the way. It was very jovial.”

Block said he didn’t see any violence around him initially, though “around 4 p.m. people starting getting more hectic, climbing over the steps and taking over that portion of the Capitol.”

When word reached the crowd in his area that some people had entered the building, Block said some weren’t happy and others cheered.

“But everyone I spoke to was very peaceful and just fired up to take our country back,” he said.

Reports that a woman had been shot created anger in the crowd, he added.

Police said a 35-year-old Maryland woman and Air Force veteran, Ashli Babbitt, was fatally shot by U.S. Capitol police. Three others died from apparent medical emergencies and 14 police officers were injured.

Block said internet servers in the area seemed bogged down by so many people trying to get online at once, making it difficult to get any detailed information about what was going on.

“Everything was word of mouth,” he recalled. “But people were mad that an American patriot who was unarmed was shot at the United States Capitol and that the Capitol was so terribly secured that people were allowed to get into the Capitol.”

Block said he left the protest around 5 p.m. after the mayor of Washington announced a 6 p.m. curfew.

Block’s political views have been controversial in New Mexico: In July, an Albuquerque group that identifies itself as anti-fascist created a virtual deck of “PokeFash” cards — modeled after the Pokémon card game — and posted the deck on its Twitter account.

Block was one of more than a dozen New Mexicans featured on the cards. The one with his image contained a picture of Block posing with Gavin McInnes, founder of the the Proud Boys right-wing extremist group, which has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Block said Thursday he posed with McGinnis after McGinnis spoke at a rally but doesn’t know much about the Proud Boys.

Block said he attended the rally alone but met several other New Mexicans in the crowd.

Block comes from a family of Democrats — including cousin Jerome Block Jr., a former public regulation commissioner whose political career was cut short when he pleaded guilty to fraudulent use of a government credit card and embezzlement in 2011 — and said he received threats and negative feedback when he posted his pictures from the rally online.

“Some people are saying, ‘You are a crazy Nazi,’ ” he said. “One guy saying he reported me for treason and sedition. A lot of people coming from left field.”

(48) comments

Nicole Panter Dailey

Sorry, I don't buy this guy's "I'm just a happy idiot" pretense. Shame on the New Mexican for just reprinting his disingenuous commentary without bothering to fact check it or notate the falsehoods. This belongs right up there with your interview with the anti-vaxxer a few weeks back. These are dangerous times and special care needs to be taken with whom you give voice to and how you do that.

Sandra Anderson

Young John Block---politics is very complicated---things are not always as presented.

Investigate the BIG picture. Consider the source of information.

Ask what has Trump and his "group" has said or done------------ to have earned your trust.

Carefully determine the truth of things. Trust only the truth----this is YOUR life.

J.J. Glanton

Phaedra Heywood weighs in with yet another instance of her cluelessly taking dictation from untrustworthy people, typing it up, and calling it news.

Paul Groh

Nice that this was published..I am sure that Mr. Block will be getting a visit from the nice fellas at the FBI in short order :)

Al Chavez

If the benighted John Block was among those who illegally crossed the barriers into the Capitol grounds he should be arrested and charged with trespassing on U.S. Government property.

Recall how those who protested against nuclear facilities were treated in the past when they broke into government property. John Block should be treated with equal justice. He's a trespasser and arguably he was part of something far worse than what the protesters of nuclear weapons did back then.

Carlos Vasquez

is this anothr3 spawn of the male Block-heads of long lore?

Paul Groh

Terrific that this fella posted his name and photo.

Robert Fields

He has left quite a trail and any participants in the riot carrying their phones and posting photos and selfies, even if they deleted them, should be nervous. Senator Mark Warner wrote to the CEOs of 11 company’s calling on them to preserve all data and metadata from communications connected to the DC riot as Federal agencies work to determine what roles people played and who was where and when.

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/533489-senate-democrat-tells-facebook-to-preserve-digital-evidence-from-capitol-riot

Locations from cell phone tower pings, photos with/without gps coordinates, messages, etc, will all be used to build cases against anyone who participated instead of merely watching from the sidelines.

Sabine Strohem

This "article" is deplorable. I literally can't believe this "I was on a field trip" tone is used. A police officer was killed by an insurrection. His pals looted, and defiled the Capitol. FFS. His parents must be so proud of their little cult member.

Dona Hamilton

I agree 100%. Did the reporter not think to remind him that a police officer was murdered? To question what he means by "take back our country?" This is incredibly poor journalism.

Craig Meyer

This kid is as much a symptom of our times as anything else. He clearly is a sipper of the drip, drip, drip of misinformation coming from certain dark corners of our media. His first statement is that he still believes Trump won. If you begin with a delusion then it is only downhill from there. I don't know the answer. There seems to be millions of people in this country that want to be lied to. It makes them feel more comfortable to stay inside their bubble and not have to deal with reality. The only problem is that eventually reality bites and someone gets hurt.

Richard Irell

It is useful for the SFNM to publish articles like this. We need to be aware that not all traitors look the crazies we saw invading our Capitol building.

Daniel Mathews

Traitor

Meredith Madri

Truly disturbing that you gave this deluded cult member a platform.

Papalo Quelites

The bludgeoning death of a Capitol Police Officer with a fire exinguisher. Was that kind of jovial too?

Russell Scanlon

To quote your brethren Mr. Block: “You lost. Get over it”

Lupe Molina

Santa Fe New Mexican, this fascist just posted an article on his propaganda rag starting with "The battle has just begun. Stand up and fight." You are emboldening fascists and aiding in getting his violent message out.

Robert Fields

Knowing what these subversives are up to is good, but giving them air to recruit others is not. Maybe the best thing SFNM could do is a full writeup of what he is up to, his affiliations, his terrorist flash card photo, etc. Roaches scurry in the light.

Lupe Molina

I actually totally agree! Some of his comments and actions are newsworthy. I'm disappointed they simply refer to him as "conservative." That's like calling Fidel Castro a centrist liberal. This guy is a wingnut. They make his views seem kind of mainstream when they are anything but.

Robert Fields

I just read his editorial, Lupe, and I agree. He is trying to recruit others to challenge the NM legislature and using words that carry connotations of violence. He calls it a battle, says fight like (profanity), etc. His whole editorial is violent.

What’s funny is even though he admits he was there in DC and claims he only watched the riot, he goes off in his Piñion Post editorial saying he doesn’t know who broke into the Capitol and blames it on “antifa”. How much koolaid do you have to drink to imagine the people you were rallying with, cheering with, and pledging to stop the steal and take back the country with, walked down the street and magically became someone else entirely? He’s either lying or out of his mind delusional.

Either way, this kid is dangerous. It’s tragic. He has fallen for Trump’s self-serving lies and is pushing them himself. As employers identify rioters, they are losing jobs. As I said before, this kid is sabotaging his own future. He won’t be employable. He won’t be electable. He may be a darling of the gullible and angry fringe right, but that “paper” of his will be his ticket to the bottom.

SFNM - you really need to think about giving people like this air and attention. If it is to warn us, do a thorough and complete piece that paints the whole picture and does not leave readers thinking the riot he was a part of was anything but what it was - a savage mob that caused damage to our capital and country, interfered with democracy, left multiple people dead, and resulted in the brutal murder of a public servant.

Stefanie Beninato

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

David Cartwright

Calm down everyone. I don't think this guy is a threat to the Republic.

Robert Fields

Well, he was present at a riot that was a threat to the republic. At least that was the intent with all the stop the steal and take the country back.

He may not be a particularly dangerous threat, but make no mistake - forceful assault on our democracy because your guy lost an election *IS* a threat to the Republic and should be treated as such.

Al Chavez

No, not this one weak-thinking individual. But the movement he represents is extremely dangerous and as a part of it he needs to pay for his actions; i.e., his active participation and support of a violent insurrection.

I'm in favor by the way of public lists like the National Sex Offender Registry or the Federal No Fly list. Every single one of the rioters and trespassers ought to be put on such a list. AND added to the No Fly list as well.

Earnest Keiser

He most certainly is. That is exactly the kind of willful ignorance that created this situation. Think before you speak.

Angel Ortiz

After the events that unfolded in our Nation's Capitol this week it is truly tragic that this young man made these statements. Even more tragic is that he was given a platform in the SFMM.

Robert Fields

Yes and no. The article is actually very incriminating and will come up in any name search prospective employers use. But it does kind of whitewash what look like extremely right wing views. Any image or security conscious company or organization considering him for employment will at least do a search and what they will see is eye opening. He may have already taken regular gainful employment off the table.

He seems to want a career in politics but he has already given prospective opponents a lot to work with. I’d be very surprised if his career goes anywhere except among other fringe believers. I can tell you I will keep an eye out for his name in the future and support his opponents.

But SFNM should have mentioned more about his political aspirations. His various profiles online don’t speak so well of him. He has tied himself online big time to a rapidly-sinking Trump, and as others are rapidly realizing, that’s a bit of a disadvantage these days.

Emily Koyama

I'm sure you and others are busy trying to find out where he works, so you can try to get him fired or boycott said business, etc...because that's how you roll.

My guess is, he anticipated that long ago, and is not concerned with cancel culture.

Robert Fields

Sorry to disrupt you delusion, but no. All I did was search for his name. I have not tried to find where he works, rat him out, or anything except to post here as I have discovered more about him, and why SFNM highlighting his quest and participation in Trump’s riot maybe not such a good idea.

But your imagination is getting away from you, just like John Block’s has. Let’s live in reality.

Angel Ortiz

I don't think anyone really cares that much about this kid.

Robert Fields

Block’s family should consider an intervention. He is headed down a dark path, succumbing to the “alternative facts” (and spreading them himself) which are really just lies, untruths, disinformation, and propaganda.

This is a young person who travelled alone all the way to DC. Why? He says it was “to take our country back”. Some of those “peaceful” people he palled around with murdered a cop, planted bombs, ransacked offices, destroyed property, stole things, etc. Good times.

Block seems very tuned in. He knew where to go and when. He has apparently been photographed with a leader of the terrorist proud boys (not going to capitalize it) group. And he already got himself included in a card deck of know-your-terrorist flash cards.

This profile article almost reads like a rap sheet for this guy.

Block could be a poster boy for the brain rot occurring in this country. He needs help soon or he is going to end up like many others that attended that rally and now have the FBI looking for them. I’d guess that the FBI would like to talk with him anyway just to obtain his selfies with others he was talking to and determine his whereabouts during the riot.

Guess what, John Block? You got a great start on being unemployable in any government or other position that requires a security clearance or a clean background. Think carefully about your future, son. It’s literally hanging by a thread.

Bobby Peru

[spam] this whole article.

Lupe Molina

This guy incites violence and his site is NOT NEWS. What is up with you SFNM? First you run an article detailong the views of anti-vaxxers and then you interview this guy who sells fake news and incites violence?! Don't give them a platform!

Rikki West

You just lost our subscription by printing this article. BTW people, just lock your cookies on you web browser like Safari and you can read most papers for free.

Lupe Molina

Or just use an incognito window in Chrome.

John Cook

Or pay for a print subscription and keep honest journalism alive. It is important to print articles like this one. It's good to shine a spotlight on this sort of thing.

Amy Earle

What this article really points out without intending to is how many of our fellow Americans have been indoctrinated by conspiracy theories and the lies and misinformation spread by Trump, Fox News, right wing talk radio, and social media. This is a serious problem for our society even when Trump is long gone. There were plenty of goons and thugs in this crowd desecrating the capital but there were plenty like this guy too, deluded people who honestly believe the lies they’ve been fed day after day by a psychopath. Trump will be gone and they will still be with us. Obviously this disgraceful incident at the capital was a dark day in America. For someone to describe the atmosphere as jovial shows how serious the problem is. We have to use the FBI and other law enforcement to contain these white nationalist, anti government people but we better come up with ways to deprogram the bigger number of people who were at that rally and the others that popped up around the country. This kind of thinking is not innocent, jovial, or fun. It’s dangerous for the individual steeped in it and the society as a whole. A woman who had been indoctrinated by QAnon and Trump is sadly now dead because she fell into this thinking. Lighthearted? Jovial? Fun? I don’t think so.

Donna Landwehr

I want to give my support to what Amy has said here. You are correct, the larger long term issue is how to deprogram these folks.

Comment deleted.
Robert Fields

Nice one! Well, except re-education of some form really is needed. There has been four years of brainwashing that has weaponized Trump followers. You know, “alternative facts”. The rest of us call them lies.

Ask yourself why so many close associates are renouncing Trump now. If Trump actually had won the election (over 60 court decisions say he did not) why are his people all saying they should have left him sooner? Why is his former communications director now saying Trump knew he had lost and everything and it was a cover as Trump himself was the one trying to steal the election?

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/08/politics/alyssa-farah-trump-lied-resignation-cnntv/index.html

The fact is that it was Trump lying all along. He lies so much people keep a tally. Last July he was well over 20,000 verified lies. Trump lies so much and so easily, Jared Kushner asked him about it and why he lied about things he didn’t even need to lie about. The answer was chilling - it’s for practice.

Here’s a discussion about Trump’s lies. We need something to help people back to reality. Trump has raised lying and disinformation to an art form.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/9/26/13016146/donald-trump-liar-media

Here, jared explains that Trump just thinks his base is stupid and “will buy it”:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/jared-kushner-donald-trump-lied-base-stupid-voters-supporters-president-son-in-law-white-house-advisor-a7764791.html

Al Chavez

Well said, Amy Earle, well said.

Earnest Keiser

How dare you make this puff piece supporting fascism. I WILL NEVER OPEN YOUR WORTHLESS PAGES AGAIN!! This is disgusting to put any positive light on those terrorists. You are now complicit in the downfall of America.

Emily Koyama

Lol.

Emily Koyama

Actually, Earnest, I'm going to join you, no more subscription... but for different reasons. And I do agree that the downfall of America is coming. Again, for different reasons.

Understand, the paper knew exactly what it was doing printing this piece. Mr Block probably thought it was cool that he was getting interviewed for the article...but it was not intended to help him.

Once the forum starts outright censorship that is clearly biased, then there is no justification to support it monetarily any longer. The bias, and lack of jounalistic objectivity has gone on for years, but now, emboldened by the new political power structure in the country, this type of censorship and slanted reporting will get much, much worse. Welcome to 1984.

(By the way, there is plenty of free content...just got to look for it)

Patrick Brockwell

I saw plenty of jovial faces in the videos of the riot at our Capitol. It was still sedition fomented by donald trump and his Big Lie. I suppose ignorance, even willful, is bliss. It's also shameful and disturbing. I am thankful our Legislators did their work and certified Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. trump needs to lawyer up and get ready for his post presidency mug shot.

rodney carswell

Lucky for the public, the free press was at the rally/riot also; so we have pictures, video and reporting that shows and tells that young Block wasn't paying attention. I won't be looking to his publication for guidance.

Robert Fields

Yeah, it’s all fun and games until a police officer just doing his job protecting the capitol gets beaten to death with a metal pipe.

I am not accusing Block of participating in the murder in any way, but the mob he was a part of beat a man to death. A woman was shot and died while trying to break into chambers. The mob left live pipe bombs around that had they not been found and defused could have killed and maimed others.

It was a violent mob whose actions caused multiple deaths, caused much destruction, and almost caused more.

Block’s experience appears to be quite different from the experiences of many others at Trump’s rally.

Artemisio Romero Carver

Thanks, Robert.

Dan Frazier

This paragraph needs help: "Block comes from a family of Democrats — including cousin Jerome Block Jr., a former public regulation commissioner whose political career was cut short when he pleaded guilty to fraudulent use of a government credit card and embezzlement in 2011 — and said he received threats and negative feedback when he posted his pictures from the rally online." The paragraph focuses on two ideas that are unrelated: one about Block's democratic family, and the other about negative feedback to his rally photos. It feels awkward and unbalanced, starting with a statement about his family and cousin, and then unexpectedly paraphrasing Block about unrelated rally photos. Also, which rally are we talking about here?

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