A few hundred supporters of President Donald Trump gathered outside the Roundhouse on Saturday to protest Joe Biden’s victory in the general election.
“I’m here because I hope we can protect what our forefathers fought for,” said Joshua Gonzales of Albuquerque, who was carrying a gun, like dozens of others.
Gonzales added that he hopes the Supreme Court will eventually rule Trump winner of the election. Biden won 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232, equal to the margin of victory in 2016 and well beyond the 270 needed to secure the presidency.
Cowboys for Trump and Bikers for Trump led a series of speakers echoing hopes for the Supreme Court to make the ultimate decision, and they also downplayed the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If you get a runny nose, take some NyQuil, take a few days off, get better,” said a speaker from Cowboys for Trump. “Don’t go get a coronavirus test right off the bat.”
Against the Roundhouse wall, around 250 unmasked people passed through the same line to sign a petition. A few vendors sold hats, shirts and other Trump-themed merchandise.
“I’m in the printing business, and I go where I think I can sell some T-shirts. I could sell 50 today,” said Mac Blinder, who had a table of Trump stickers and $20 shirts that read: “Our governor is an idiot.”
“Capitalism rules,” Blinder said.
While speakers shared a microphone and asked demonstrators to return this week during a special legislative session, a few dozen people lined the intersection of Paseo de Peralta and Old Santa Fe Trail, with three New Mexico State Police cars nearby.
Earlier this month, a Santa Fe man filed a police report alleging a Trump supporter kicked his door, damaging his vehicle, during a similar demonstration.
Santa Fe police said they received no calls about the demonstrators Saturday and said enforcing a mask ordinance or ban on mass gatherings at the Roundhouse fell to state police.
State police Lt. Mark Soriano said no citations were issued for public health order violations Saturday.
“Normally it would be unsafe for our officers to try to enforce a mask policy with a crowd that size,” Santa Fe police Lt. Chris McCord said over the phone Saturday. “We were aware of the event and prepared to provide resources, but at the Roundhouse, state police are the ones who staff that event.”