As election results are still being tabulated in certain states, and evidence of fraud, software glitches, and disenfranchisement becomes exposed and is litigated, the 71 million, Constitution-loving Americans who voted for Trump wanted to show their support, and ensure that all legal votes are counted and that any fraudulent or incorrectly calculated votes are not.
#StopTheSteal was quickly formed and Republicans and conservatives across America united to organize events at state capitols across the country. Their purpose is to stand in solidarity with President Trump as he works to ensure the tabulating of the votes remains free, fair, and transparent.
Big Tech has once again flown into high gear to suppress this right to free speech and assembly, and to decide which voices are heard, and which are censored.
#StoptheSteal created a Facebook page, which quickly ballooned to 395,000 Likes. Last week, Facebook took it down because of “Violent rhetoric”. While they failed to inform the organizers, they made sure to let the AP and CBS News know about it.
“A Facebook group with the goal of spreading election misinformation and inciting violence had grown to over 350,000 members on Thursday. Now, Facebook has shut it down.
“Supporters of President Donald Trump launched the ‘Stop the Steal’ group this week to organize protests against the presidential election, which has yet to be called as of midday Friday. Some members called for violence, and many spread misinformation, including baseless claims that Democrats are trying to ‘steal’ the election.
“A Facebook spokesperson said the platform was also concerned because the group was organizing in-person events.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. #StoptheSteal’s national coordinator Nathan Martin wished he could have gotten an audience with Facebook. Instead, they took the page down without so much as an explanation.
“I think it’s a concerted effort to try to overplay the fact that it’s, you know, a ‘President-elect Biden’. They think the race has been called, and so they want to limit any kind of interaction, or protests, or rallies on behalf of the President,” Martin said. “And frankly, it goes even beyond the President—it goes to fair and free elections.
“We know that every legal vote has to be counted; if you’re counting illegal votes, it dilutes the legal votes.”
The Big Tech blackout of #StoptheSteal went further: Twitter blacklisted the organization’s URL (stopthesteal.us) preventing it from being tweeted and retweeted across the site. Twitter rescinded this yesterday.
Earlier this week, the organization’s MailChimp accounts were locked and de-platformed, causing them to lose millions in data and contacts. The final straw was the site Eventbrite taking down all the #StoptheSteal events nationwide.
No one in the organization received any email or communication from these tech organizations about why this was done and how it could be rectified.
Thankfully, the website remains untouched and lists all the events across the country. The organization is using email lists and going digital as best they can.
“We are trying to, you know, get around some of these barriers they put in front of us. I mean, the bottom line is that. This is an important topic of having fair elections and transparent counting, and we’re not going to stop.”
Once Tuesday’s election dragged into the week, #StoptheSteal was able to coordinate grassroots events in less than 48 hours. On Saturday, November 7, 49 states and the District of Columbia held support events in front of state capitols and other locations. Even in Blue California, thousands showed up in Beverly Hills to create a presence.
Thousands of people showed up at the Beverly Hills #STOPTHESTEAL rally today. 🙌🧡🔥
Thank you @ali and all the influencers and patriots that are making these rallies happen across our great country.
They cannot shut us all down – this is not over!! pic.twitter.com/rwJJGXNmFp
— LAJenn 🧡 #DoNotConcede (@thisLAJenn) November 8, 2020
“We did a spreadsheet, and the counts were 30,000 people showed up on a day’s notice,” Martin said.
The organization has planned some more events and is working with other groups to advertise their events. This Saturday, November 14, similar scattered events will be happening across the country. A large coordination in D.C. will meet at Freedom Plaza at 12:00 p.m., with plans to march to the Supreme Court steps.
After the technology shutdowns, #StoptheSteal expects a decent showing in D.C. and hopes to have a successful showing.
“We want to create a presence of people who are standing in the void for fair elections and transparent counting,” Martin said.
“We feel that we’re in the precipice. We’re in the void here, trying to save our Republic from a great, great travesty.”
Tragically, there are factions who resent President Trump’s insistence on ensuring a fair count, or recount as certain cases have dictated; more critically, they resent those who voted for and support him.
I asked Martin if he had heard of the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), and he replied that he was not familiar. I let him know that this front group was the locus of #StoptheSteal’s Tech censorship woes.
CCDH took to their Twitter account @CCDHate and decided that #StoptheSteal was spreading election “misinformation” and fomenting violence. Their directive is that “It has to be shut down.”
.@Facebook is hosting a "Stop the Steal" group run by figures close to Donald Trump and Steve Bannon.
It is calling on 300,000 members to protest at vote counts and contains calls for violence.
It has to be shut down. pic.twitter.com/on308Xvze4
— Center for Countering Digital Hate (@CCDHate) November 5, 2020
CCDHate claimed that #StoptheSteal’s Facebook page had multiple incidences of calls for violence at vote counting centers. I asked Martin had he seen anyone from their organization or ancillary groups inciting violence.
“Not at all. In fact, every call that we’ve been on every national call people have asked, hey, how do we…how do we avoid violence?” Martin said.
“You know, whether we have Antifa there or whatever, what are some tips to be able to avoid that? And we’ve been preaching avoidance, not engaging, not discussing, I mean, when it comes to Antifa and other organizations showing up at a rally, they’re not looking for a conversation, right? They’re looking [for a confrontation], and so we say, you know, hey, don’t even engage. It’s not worth it, right?”
Yet, CCDHate and its followers continued to push this narrative, tweeting and retweeting their false information, and even targeting and doxing the organization’s moderators. CCDHate got their desired result: Facebook, Twitter, MailChimp, and Eventbrite cut off all of #StoptheSteal’s digital communication arms.
The Stop the Steal Facebook group contains multiple calls for violence at vote counts.
One recent post reads "Time to clean the guns, time to hit the streets."
Another says "It's time. We must resort to violence if we have to." pic.twitter.com/kaE2WYAmTk
— Center for Countering Digital Hate (@CCDHate) November 5, 2020
When forced to take corrective action, FB always does as little as possible. It took down Stop The Steal, but did nothing to the organizers. So long as the perpetrators of Stop The Steal are welcome on FB, they will undermine democracy. Ban them now. Same with Bannon. https://t.co/NMv8Z2yF0T
— Roger McNamee (@Moonalice) November 9, 2020
Martin insists that peaceful protests and insistence on non-violence is strongly emphasized in #StoptheSteal’s writings and in all its communications.
“And so now it’s something that we’re preaching and talking about, and that’s why in all of our literature and all of our emails and on our website, we emphasize peaceful protests, peaceful protests,” he said.
“We’re very deliberate, and yeah, insuring it is in all of our documents. All of our emails include the words peaceful protests because we want to. We want to ensure that there are actual peaceful protests, but we also want to ensure that you know if we do get hacked or our emails are taken over or whatever, that there’s nothing that could even be construed potentially trying to incite.”
Antifa and BLM have done nothing but incite violence and cause destruction in urban centers across our nation. Yet President-select Joe Biden said they were just an “idea”.
In a cursory Facebook search, I pulled up no less than 5 pages for Antifa and Antifa groups. All very active, none insisting on peace. Yet, CCDHate is not demanding these pages be taken down.
Why is that?
This is not the first time that CCDH has targeted conservative groups and individuals. They were behind Google’s brief de-platforming of The Federalist in June, and they have doxed Zero Hedge and British journalist Katie Hopkins.
“CCDH has ties to the left-wing British Labour Party. The group’s founder, Imran Ahmed, is a former advisor to Labour Members of Parliament Hilary Benn and Angela Eagle. Board member Kristy McNeill is a former adviser to former Labour Party British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and former board member Morgan McSweeney resigned from the board to become chief of staff to Labour Party leader Keir Starmer.”
So, it appears that CCDH is not trying to root out digital hate; it is trying to destroy speech it does not like.
The fact that this is a British organization is particularly galling. America fought and won a Revolutionary War to get out from under the boot of British rule, and now one of their organizations is attempting to dictate the outcome of U.S. elections and what Americans should be accepting. It looks like we are on the cusp of fighting them again.
Martin is anything but extremist or right-wing. He did not vote for President Trump in 2016, but he did in 2020. He is an adjunct professor of American Government, and said he has a “great deal of love for it.”
Martin has served in the Armed Forces (Army) and taught Constitution classes while deployed in Iraq.
“I would say though, on the inside out, it’s been an eye-opening experience just how far the status quo will go to ensure that they keep power,” he said. “And that is something that should be disconcerting, no matter who is the one doing it.”
I asked, at the end of the legal challenges and recounts, if the results do give us a President-elect Biden, what will be #StoptheSteal’s response?
“I mean, if it’s a fair election—we’ve had a fair election and transparent counting—and the votes come in and Biden was indeed the winner, then he’s the winner,” Martin said. “And then we’ll do what we’ve done. You know, every year since the 1780s, and that’s have a peaceful transition of power, and appropriately so. But we can’t have that unless we’ve actually had, you know, fair elections and transparent counting, and if there is a modicum of doubt it should be addressed.
“In the mind of state legislators, they need to have a serious look about what process was taking place within their States and they have a Constitutional duty to appoint electors that best fit that.”
The template for addressing this? The Constitution.
“So, we’re working continuously. You know, we have a Constitution that’s set up for these kind of things, but at the end of the day, the powerful thing that we brought to the world that didn’t exist before was that transfer of power; you know, when John Adams comes into office, after George Washington leaves, is the first time.
“As best I can tell, it is the first time in recorded history that there was a peaceful transfer of power between two people who weren’t related.”
Martin debunks the notion that transfers of power are supposed to be seamless and without interrogation or rancor.
“It hasn’t always been pretty. No, it took… what? 32 ballots for Thomas Jefferson to become President? You have the debacle in what, 1877? Uh, so it hasn’t always been pretty, but at the end of the day, the Constitution always reigns supreme. As long as I have breath in my lungs, I’ll push for it to reign supreme.
“That’s a testament to what we have brought to the world.”
To find a #StoptheSteal event near you, visit StoptheSteal.us