Harry’s Bar, a downtown D.C. pub that has drawn attention in recent months for hosting the white supremacists, election deniers, and COVID-19 ignorers who support outgoing President Donald Trump, served as the backdrop this weekend for politically charged confrontations that resulted in four stabbings and 33 arrests for misdemeanor assaults, assaults on police officers, and rioting.
According to multiple reports, Proud Boys and other pro-Trump groups met up outside of Harry’s to demonstrate in support of Trump’s effort to dispute the election results that made Democratic challenger Joe Biden the president-elect. Reporters covering pro-Trump rallies in D.C. on Saturday, December 12, identified the area outside Harry’s as a rallying point where hundreds of people gathered to pose for pictures, chant slogans such as “all lives matter,” and start fights with counter-protesters. The bar has long been an attraction for tourists, and its location near Trump’s downtown hotel makes it an affordable option for his base.
According to multiple reports, Saturday’s stabbings took place around 11th and F Streets NW, within a block of Harry’s. Police declined to tell the Washington Post if a suspect in custody for one of the assaults was affiliated with pro-Trump protesters or with their foils representing the social justice movement. Videos captured Saturday show a group of Proud Boys setting fire to a Black Lives Matter banner they took from Asbury United Methodist Church, a historically Black house of worship that dates back to 1836.
Outside Harry’s now and there is someone in the room at the Harrington Hotel just above the bar sign who keeps waving an “Antifa United” flag at the window as the hundreds of Proud Boys here chant, “Fuck Antifa!” Hard to see in this photo, but it’s next to the snowman #DC pic.twitter.com/4sWQA1L9SM
— Marissa J. Lang (@Marissa_Jae) December 13, 2020
Blogger Barred in DC published a message they received from Harry’s Bar owner John Boyle that said the bar opted not to open for dinner Friday and Saturday, closing after 3:30 p.m. to “avoid problems and keep customers safe from COVID.”
D.C’s liquor board has cited Harry’s five times for violating public safety protocols put into place during the coronavirus crisis. During a pro-Trump rally in mid-November, the bar was slapped with $2,000 in fines because customers were not wearing masks and not respecting social distancing measures.
D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration tells Barred in DC that Harry’s was not cited this past weekend.