Oak Bluffs man: ‘Mostly peaceful people outside the Capitol’

Steve Gallas was there that day, but did not witness the violence inside.


Updated 10:32 am, Monday *

An Oak Bluffs man who was in Washington, D.C., Wednesday and watched the rally held by President Donald Trump outside the Ellipse says the narrative that Trump supporters from that rally stormed the U.S. Capitol as an angry mob is inaccurate. 

Steve Gallas, 61, said he went to Washington, D.C., Wednesday to see what would happen for himself as Congress convened to certify the Electoral College votes. He said he’s not a Trump supporter or a Joe Biden supporter (in 2016, he wrote a Letter to the Editor about the need for a third party after supporting Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary), he just wanted a front row seat to the historic day.

“I wasn’t there for Trump. I wasn’t there for Biden. I was there because I knew something was going to happen,” he said.

During an hour-long interview with The Times, Gallas railed repeatedly about the narrative and the focus of the “mainstream media.” (Media reports did focus initially on the violence and chaos, but also showed some of the peaceful protesters outside.) Asked about what happened inside, Gallas said he wanted to focus on what he witnessed, which he described as not very exciting.

“The vast majority of the people were not storming anything. The vast majority of people were good people just there,” Gallas said. “This was not a huge angry mob. The crowd did not storm. The crowd did not attack.”

Asked about the scores of people who did clash with Capitol Police and broke windows and ransacked the offices of lawmakers, Gallas said he doesn’t condone what they did. Five people have now died as a result of what U.S. Rep. William Keating and others have described as an “insurrection.” The FBI has issued four posters seeking information on dozens of suspects in connection with the violence, along with the more than 82 people arrested thus far.

Gallas said what happened inside is wrong. “That’s absolutely irresponsible,” he said of the violence. “I don’t condone it and what’s going to happen to those people is going to happen to them.”

Gallas said he was able to go inside the barriers that had been set up around the perimeter of the Capitol Building. “There were breaches in the barricades and police right there. I walked right through and so did everyone else with police within eyeshot,” he said. “People were really calm. They weren’t violent. It was nice, casual. It was lowkey.”

He described a scene outside the Capitol that was much more serene than what’s been seen from inside the building, though he did hear a canister go off as tear gas filled the air. He moved away up-wind from that area to avoid the irritant. 

Footage shot by Gallas —  before, during, and after the breach inside — bears out his story. People are milling about as a group of police officers on bicycles ride by in one of the clips. Most of his clips show people chanting and waving flags, but no violence.

“Granted there were a lot of people behind the barricades. There were already people on the rear of the Capitol. They were just standing on the steps taking selfies and trying to stay warm,” he said. There was no pushback from the Capitol Police officer nearby. “He pulled the barricade back and said go ahead, I don’t care. He let everyone in.”

At the earlier rally held by Trump, Gallas said most of the people appeared bored and were more focused on how to get warm on the raw, windy day. He does not believe the words of Trump to “never give up” and “fight” or Rudy Guiliani who told Trump’s supporters that Democrats deserved “trial by combat” incited the crowd.

“In my mind, there wasn’t any incitement to go and storm the Capitol,” Gallas said.

He said there were agitators wearing military-style clothing along the route from the rally to the Capitol trying to get the crowd fired up, but he repeated that the majority of people were just there to peacefully protest. “There were people trying to incite the crowd and I remember yelling at one. Maybe we should have grabbed their megaphones. I’m not there to get in a fight with anyone. There were people there to incite the crowd. No one was listening to them.”

Gallas was on a bicycle because he wanted to be mobile that day. He said even though there were thousands of people there, he was able to easily navigate his way to the Capitol building on the bike.

As for what he’s seen reported from that day, Gallas is disgusted. “I really don’t have any trust in the media at all, how it gets manipulated,” he said. “This is a really important time right now. It’s being spun. None of them are the truth.”

*The headline of this story has been changed. We have listened to the feedback we’ve gotten and understand the headline may have indicated something about our position that we did not intend.


  1. The parallels to the Black Lives Matter marches continue. Most of those people were peaceful demonstrators, but conservative media outlets focused solely on the violent minority.

  2. Thank you for publishing this first hand, factual information so that we can form our own feelings about what happened. You did the honest thing and remained neutral. This is rare in todays media world but very much needed at this time.

    • There are peaceful protestors outside the Capitol everyday that could be reported. They do not break in, steal items, smash windows, tear valuable artifacts off walls, etc. It broke my heart to see the Capitol being desecrated.

  3. seriously??? “It was nice, casual. It was lowkey”? Five people died – many more could have. And he calls this “media spin”? So all of us who watched the live events unfold on multiple networks were wrong? This was a horrific event and a moment that will be talked about for many generations to come.

  4. 5 people died, including one police officer, multiple officers were injured, the floor of house and senate were occupied, and item were stolen from congressional offices. Saying this was peaceful and the media is spinning this because of what you saw when you stayed outside is ludicrous. The pictures and videos from inside the Capitol show what happened.

    • They showed what happened inside the Capitol.
      But what occurred inside the Capitol was not all that occurred on that day. Americans have the right to peacefully gather to air their grievances. It is not right that a small contingent’s violent actions are used to devalidate the actions of others who had nothing to do with the violence but were exercising their rights. That is pretty basic.

      It is disturbing how many people —registered Democrats, I guess—get off on demonizing those they disagree with via the use of derogatory terms such as “Trumpsters,” “Trumpistas,” etc. Soon these citizens are all “bad people.” People who weren’t in DC never the less feel empowered to insult and put down on a person who was there who describes what he saw. They even excoriate the newspaper for publishing this report, as though news outlets should not present an eye-witness report. Thsi report is valid news. Truly people are addled in their self-righteousness and conviction that they have the right to censor others. Attempts to understand dissenting points of view have earned me the accusations that I am “creepy.” This from an old friend. People, get a grip!

      • And yet BLM protests and other liberal protests that involve some extremists that loot or burn things down while the vast majority of protesters are peaceful are always judged by the violence, particularly by those who stormed out Nation’s Capitol. Trump supporters bashed all the protests last spring and summer as disgusting because of the violence and said they’d never do such a thing. But they did. And they’ve only had their “freedoms” threatened for about 15 minutes (or really – not at all) whereas BLM is the result of hundreds of years of oppression. And now Trumpets don’t want their “protest” judged by the insurrection at the Capitol because some people didn’t do that? Hypocrites. This article is absurd. Just because I am within a couple miles of a crime does not make me a reliable witness. The mob mentality took over, as anyone with a brain knew it would. “I didn’t see it so it didn’t happen”. Wasn’t that also the argument in Hitler’s Germany?

      • Very well said and very true. I have said very little over these last 4 years as have many of my friends. We will keep silent no longer.

  5. Another “neutral” observer asks is to ignore the evidence of our own eyes. 5 people are dead. There were individuals who had weapons inside the Capitol, there were molotov cocktails found. A gallows and noose were erected. These are instruments of terror, not innocent, doe-eyes protesters. These people were posting on social media for weeks of their intent to violently attack the Capitol if their demands were not met. Their target? The Vice President, for not obeying trump’s order to not certify the votes. This reporting is an insult to all sane people.

  6. Just curious. How did Mr. Gallas know it was going to be a “historic day?….one worth traveling off island to film?

    • I should think every sentient adult American knew this was going to be a history day one way or another.

  7. He definitely didn’t need to go to “document” this. Everyone has cell phones or cameras. Why would there be a rally on the day Congress certifies the election? I’m skeptical that he was a “neutral” party.

  8. After watching the recently released video of the violence and hate leading up to the shooting of an insurrectionist, I just can’t help but wonder why the MV Times thought this story, which ends with an implication that the media is spinning the violence, was a good story to run. I guess I’m disgusted as well, just in the MV Times for making this their lead story of the day.

    Video can be seen here: https://twitter.com/billpascrell/status/1347653772940632065?s=21

    • Thank you ross for posting this video== I saw Tucker Carlson describe this woman as a an innocent victim. I only saw the 10 second clip. I urge everyone here to watch the video as posted by Ross. This woman was not an innocent victim– she was deliberately breeching a clear line drawn by lawful security personnel.

  9. “The vast majority of people were just good people there.” Where have we heard that before? Oh, yes, Trump at Charlottesville. Good people? The type who wave confederate flags and erect a noose on a gallows in plain sight of the Capitol? The plethora of marchers who sported neo-Nazi and white-supremacist signs, tattoos and paraphernalia? Good people?! We all saw the images of these “good people” marching to the Capitol. The assault and attempted insurrection that followed? The death and destruction? These were assuredly not the actions of “good people”. I’m disheartened that the MV Times saw fit to conduct and print this interview. Gallas’ last comment –“None of them (the media) are the truth. The Times should have told Gallas to take his “truth” somewhere else.

  10. Any attempt to minimize what happened at our nation’s Capitol Building on Wednesday is beyond credulity.
    Having said that, what most people don’t realize is that there was also a Health Freedoms rally taking place there on Wednesday. I know some people who were there – holistic health practioners, doctors, nurses, health freedom advocates, and activists, some of whom I know. These people had nothing to do with the Insurrection mob rioters that stormed the Capitol. So my point is that there probably were reasonable folks there peacefully protesting and giving speeches who had nothing whatsoever to do with the scumbags who committed these heinous acts against the United States government who should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. As someone here has said, this was not media spin. What happened HAPPENED. And saying it was peaceful is indeed ludicrous. So I have to agree with Carla Cooper.And I would question your motives for saying what you said.

  11. The fact the times would run this article is dangerous bordering on irresponsible. Plainly what happened required a mob mentality to occur, many people an officer of the law defending the capital included, died and the capital was over run for the first time since 1812. The fact the times would suggest this was a peaceful protest or anything other than an angry mob is ignorant of the facts and frankly irresponsible journalism.

  12. well- we all have opinions. Mr. Gallas was there.
    I am sure his observations are in keeping with the facts.
    There were thousands of people there. As with all protest, the great majority of protestors are law abiding citizens exercising their 1A rights.
    Just as with protestors at BLM events, some people are angry enough and willing enough to use violence to get their point across.
    I do not condone it, but violence pushes the issue in question onto the national stage. Four deaths at Kent State , with other factors of course, galvanized the nation to find a way to end the Vietnam war .
    The protest that erupted and tore this country apart over the summer resulted in 19 deaths. Some related to the protest, some “perhaps”
    One retired police officer was killed during these protest.
    But, in my mind, the great majority of people participating in the BLM riots —note that I am willing to use the word “riot” — were peaceful citizens exercising their 1A rights . But there is a difference here.
    The protests of the summer were motivated by clear racial injustice that involved a consistent and continuing toll of black Americans dying at the hands of police.
    The assault on the “peoples house” was motivated by the rantings of a deranged megalomaniac who is incapable of accepting the clear will of the people. His sycophantic enablers are willing to sacrifice lives and the foundations of our democracy to support a clearly debunkable lie. They are responsible for this most egregious assault on the principals this country is founded upon.
    I urge trump supporters to look somewhere other than right wing “echo chambers” for some factual information.
    Perhaps then, we , as a nation can start to heal from these last 4 dark years.

    • Re “The assault on the “peoples house” was motivated by the rantings of a deranged megalomaniac who is incapable of accepting the clear will of the people. ”

      We need to differentiate between underlying causes and proximate causes—just as on a death certificate.

      The proximate cause for the demo may have been “rantings . . . ” The underlying causes are many, but the most recent one is the failure of SCOTUS to examine and assess evidence of fraud in the recent election.

      The use of terms such as “coup” and “insurrection” for what occurred at the Capitol is ridiculous. In any case, it may be that the leaders of the violent contingent hoped to provoke a violent confrontation with security forces and that giving way and letting them enter the Capitol was actually a sensible response.

      • Katherine– Had trump’s lawyers produced any reasonable evidence of wide spread election fraud, SCOTUS would have likely heard the case. SCOTUS received a request to hear the case. At that point, the justices look at what has been presented to them, and decide whether to hear the case or not. It’s a given that trump’s attorneys are incompetent, so it’s possible that they just forgot to show any evidence for the court to review, or they didn’t have any. It may rile up a trump supporter to hear Hugo Chavez, socialist, George Soros, Venezuela, communist, China and Cuba in one sentence, but it didn’t impress a single supreme court justice. Just because a deranged person happens to be the POTUS does not mean the court has to waste it’s time entertaining a frivolous suit.
        No matter how many times you say “there was massive fraud” it does not make it reality.
        Where’s the beef ?

        • Seventeen, or maybe 20, state AGs signed on to the lawsuit.
          I stand by my point concerning the the SCOTUS nondecision as a trigger for the demo/riot. SCOTUS dismissed the suit on a technicality.
          That’s the “beef.” NB: Snark adds nothing.

        • It seems like many do not understand what the lawsuit is about. It was not about “massive fraud.” The lawsuit is about a constitutional issue: the ways whereby a few of states changed the ground rules for the handling of absentee and write-in ballots.

          • Katherine– States changed their laws ? The only state that I know about that changed their laws ( by order of the governor) after the voting had started was Texas. That unconstitutional decree was thrown out by the courts–( a competent lawyer did something other than whine). And trump still won there despite not being able to cheat. . I think Biden actually won more states than officially counted.

  13. Well maybe it wasn’t violent because he stayed away from where the violence took place? It’s like saying I stood outside a Nirvana show in the early nineties. They weren’t that loud or intense. Given the most charitable reading this account comes across as incomplete. People were killed. The only thing that prevented a possible blood bath was the color of the protester’s skin.

  14. Mr. Gallas, While I appreciate what you describe as your neutrality in observing this situation, it’s difficult to ignore that the intent of the rally, and the comments of both the president and Rudy Giuliani, were to attempt to subvert the will of the majority of American voters and force the overturning of a free election in our country, based on claims of voter fraud that were repeatedly rejected by the courts. This is not a peaceful protest, it is insurrection. And even if you weren’t moved by their rhetoric, it is inexcusable for them to speak of “trial by warfare” in the presence of far-right group members who had telegraphed their intentions for weeks prior to the event.

    And make no mistake, inside it was a destructive mob – based on the evidence of their own selfies, not on the “Mainstream” media. People were killed, offices ransacked, quite possibly national security breached. And it’s difficult to ascribe benign intent to those marching through the Capitol with Confederate flags and T shirts with slogans like “Camp Auschwitz”.

    And finally, regarding the police – while their politely allowing you and others to breach the barricades may have made it all feel like a mellow stroll in the park to you, to me it represented an egregious dereliction of duty. The houses of Congress were engaged in one of the most important deliberations in our democracy, while the clear intent of the rally, and of the crowd – angry or not – was to disrupt that process. To allow anyone at all access to the Capitol, and the halls where these deliberations were occurring, was an unconscionable affront to democratic process. I would hope that the fact that many of those in charge of those police forces have resigned in the aftermath might cause you to reconsider your assessment of their actions.

    • To add to Mr MacNelly’s comment,

      Why would a newspaper reporter not interview aspects of two different eye witness points of view for an hr each.? And as the “peaceful” crowd is mingling please tell us what were they chanting, what was written on their flags, was there malice in their head and hearts.

      it only takes one person to incite a crowd.. and that person hid behind bullet proof windows, concrete and armed guards. It appears on tv, many took his message and ran with it.

      As one tear gassed woman beyond the major fracas exclaimed….”why did they tear gas us?” Reporter “well why were you here ” woman “to join the revolution”….

      Who is missing what here ?

  15. The real news was what happened inside and immediately around the Capitol. Mr. Gallas saw none of that, but somehow you managed to spin this into an hour-long interview? He doesn’t seem to understand the significance of what did happen either, perhaps because he didn’t see it with his own eyes and he doesn’t trust “the media.” Since he wasn’t there, what’s his basis for claiming that “the media” got it wrong? I value the videos, photos, and especially the first-person accounts I’ve seen so far (although of course I know that none contains the whole story). How about changing the headline on this story to “Vineyard Man Travels to DC, Misses Story”?

  16. This article is absurd! The country watched this happen in real time, we have the video. Just because not everyone there participated in the coup attempt doesn’t change the fact that Trump incited these clowns to attempt a coup.

  17. Here we go again, just looking for someone to criticize instead of working toward solutions that take into account human nature and trying to clarify our basic values. Do you understand the rational behind the US constitution (it forms the basis for our country) Too much emotion, too much brainwashing. We are not even listening to ourselves never mind others and fail to learn from and value each other and not as part of some group}. How did we get this way and how can we stop it as individuals, not a group. I know Steve and I respect his integrity and thoughtfullness.

    • Fully agree. I was thinking earlier today usually a challenge to the American Public like COVID, causes people to unify and stand together. These days people just want to tear each other apart over anything.

  18. Dear Editor – you need to correct your subheading – it should read:

    “Family of dead capitol police officer does not care whether traveler from Oak Bluffs said most people were peaceful outside the Capitol.”

  19. Both things can be true. I have no doubt there were peaceful protesters. But at the same time there were rioters already in the building while he rode his bike around. The reporting and video is real and accurate. The rioters meant to riot.

  20. “I wasn’t there for Trump. I wasn’t there for Biden. I was there because I knew something was going to happen,” he said.

    What did Mr. Gallas “know” was going to happen that inspired him to make the journey? I think he is ashamed that he was there and is trying to justify, poorly, his participation. And his voyeurism. Every man and woman there that day enabled the most violent among them to do their dirty work, resulting in 5 deaths and dozens of injuries.

    We had a better view of the happenings than Mr. Gallas did on the ground, as we watched it unfold all day from hundreds of angles. Interview me for an hour and I will tell you what happened.

  21. I was there the truth is important, this isn’t about Trump or the crimes that happened inside the Capital, its about the people the majority of the protestors who had no intention or rioting or storming the Capital I did not witness the violence and neither did the vast majority of the protestors. I feel it is important that people hear this, facts are important judging from afar using social media without having witnessed the event is not productive, this is a dangerous time for democracy there were a lot of good people protesting at the Capital and a few bad people. If this country is to come together everyone has to understand that social media is not reality, there are good people who supported Trump, the vast majority of the people I spoke to and watched at the rally were not violent or supportive of the violence that occurred does not codon what happened it is what I witnessed. Rather than make judgements from a computer won’t it be much more productive to learn the facts use understanding and resolve to reach out and learn why so many people are distrustful of the government, doing otherwise is to perpetuate this environment of fear, distrust of people that are not that much different than us. By condemning all Trumps supporters which were almost half of the electorate without trying to understand them is a path to more civil unrest. How about actually talking to a Trump supporter in person and listen to them without judgement or indictment seek to understand and then to be understood.

    • Thank you, Steve- I agree that people need to be willing to engage in honest, open, and thoughtful conversation, even with people who think differently from us, and that truly is the only way forward if we want to have a sane future. It’s a 2 way street; there need to be basic ground rules of civility and sanity. The images of people inside the halls of Congress wearing Camp Auschwitz sweatshirts aren’t pleasant; it’s a direct insult to the American veterans who left families behind to fight against Nazi fascism in Europe, only to have cretins like that insulting their legacy. At the same time, you can’t cut and paste that onto every individual who was in the city that day. Do I think the election was stolen? No. Do I think that the people who are clinging to the theory of the rigged election are deluded, even after Trump loyalists like William Barr have said there’s nothing substantial to back it up? Yes. Do I respect the rights of other people to hold different thoughts and opinions than me, even if I don’t approve of these the thoughts and opinions? Yes, provided it’s done in a civil and peaceful manner. It’s not a pleasant pill to swallow, but it’s a fundamental pillar of civic society. I’m a big fan oftThe HBO documentary “Inequality For All”; it highlights the macro-economic shifts in the country over the last several decades that have led to the sense of despair and psychic pain permeating vast swaths of the population. The documentary provides a larger perspective that goes beyond individual political figures.

  22. Is this a story about an innocent observer of free speech in America or about a devoted partisan who hoped that a national election could be overturned by protesters, some of whom woud be non-violent?….Jay Sigler

  23. The answer why I was there is simple, I am interested in politics I try to see all the candidates each presidential cycle this year I saw Bernie, Warren, Andrew Yang, Tulsi in New Hampshire after COVID Trump was the only game in town having been to several rallies I have been struck by how friendly and peaceful the rally’s have been often in contrast to Trumps speeches. If you want to truly understand people you must engage them in conversation walk in their shoes. Second I enjoy riding my bicycle exploring in cities and Washington DC is very bicycle friendly with hundreds of historical building and places with streets closed off it makes it a bicyclists dream. I have done the same thing in several cities when streets are closed for events.

    • “[T]his is a dangerous time for democracy there were a lot of good people protesting at the Capital and a few bad people.”

      Mr. Gallas, when you are in a hole, stop digging.

    • Steve — I really appreciated your interview and share your feelings. I had been very attentive to this because of my interest in the Constitution and thought this might be a moment that brought about unity in its wisdom and reliability. Sadly I think such a moment passed and I am not very hopeful about achieving a deeper reconciliation for all of us. But it was very encouraging to hear of your account and your honesty and I wanted to thank you for it. Best regards.

  24. The advantage to being on a bicycle is mobility and access which creates opportunities to experience an area and its people on a different level. Police will often stop pedestrians while completely ignoring a bicyclist, people and police often engage me in conversation curious about riding a bicycle and what Martha’s Vineyard. That was the case at the Washington DC Rally it allowed me to roam the larger area around the Capital to get a larger picture, most of the crowd wasn’t even on the Capital grounds they were on the streets at food trucks, using the port-a-potties trying to stay warm. On the lighter side I watched a traffic jam which occurred because a old beat up pickup truck from Texas had a flat tire, there is always an abundance of old pick up trucks at Trump Rally’s, many of the people came in RV’s and after the speech proceeded to set up BBQs and didn’t go to Capital, the street vendors struggling to keep their carts upright against the wind. The Capital Police on their beautiful horses riding around the Washington Monument was wonderful. In Washington which gets millions of visitor’s and dozens of protests I was disappointed by the lack of trash cans and the amount of trash in the streets. What I would like to say here is that the majority of people were not storming the Capital they were just being people just like you and me.

    • Like you. Not like me. Like people who blindly support a racist misogynistic pathologically lying repeatedly bankrupting narcissistic wholly unredeemable and pathetic creature despite 60 court challenges and recounts, with the backing of the likes of Sydney Powell, Giuliani, and Michael Flynn.I cannot imagine the amount of trash in the streets you witnessed.

  25. MV Times I can’t wrap my head or heart around why you decided to do this story. You’re become part of the destructive division in this country. I cancelled my subscription.

  26. Bravo to the Times for such balanced handling and to Mr. Gallas — I share his inclinations and participating as well as I saw it as a Constitutional moment. I am grateful to hear that what I observed through various media is consistent with Mr Gallas’ account. I reject the illegality and violence of the small group of perpetrators who corrupted and hijacked the moment. Once the mainstream media arrived, the amplication of bias and horror commenced I was devastated for both our country and the 200,000 decent hard-working Americans there that day who had traveled from afar, peacefully assembled, and marched to support the idea that our elections should have zero fraud in them — zero. Maybe we will never get the true accounting but I appreciated the effort and sacrifice that those tens of thousands made. I wish thatvday met their concerns about being ignored by courts, state legislatures, and their representatives in Washington. I respect their desire for free, fair and non-corruptible elections. I fear it did not and their anger will continue to simmer. Mass media amplifying hate and condemnation wont help nor will political grandstanding, word games, or washington’s “kick the can”. These people came that day because they feel disenfranchised and were peaceably looking for answers. How can we go about helping them?

    • This is willful blindsight. Watch the videos from inside the building, and the assaults on journalists outside. Nothing was amplified, and may actually have been understated. Read the threats coming now for Jan. 17 and 19. These insurrectionists are deadly serious.

    • Jim McCann, do you have a reasonably reliable source for that 200K figure? The permit for the rally at the Ellipse was for “up to 30K” participants. The best estimate of the actual crowd there was “tens of thousands” in Time: https://time.com/5926883/trump-supporters-storm-capitol/. Estimating the crowd at the Capitol was harder, because the crowd was in continual motion, but this observer, who’s no slouch at estimating crowds, says: “I’m perfectly prepared to believe there were several thousand people there, even 10,000 maybe. But when you start pushing that up to 100,000 and so on, that’s not going to be true.” You can find that at https://theconversation.com/it-is-difficult-if-not-impossible-to-estimate-the-size-of-the-crowd-that-stormed-capitol-hill-152889.

      So, Jim, I’m wondering about the source for your 200K figure. I’m also wondering why these “decent, hardworking Americans” were so sure that there had been significant fraud in the Nov. 3 election, despite all evidence (and court decisions) to the contrary. I’d question their sources too, but I’m afraid I already know where they got their information.

    • Reasonable estimates of the crowd size made by people who specialize in such matters put it at less than 20,000.
      But go ahead and cling to your fantasies.
      The media didn’t amplify a thing. In fact, they were attacked. A woman taking photos inside the building was knocked to the floor. The AP crew was attacked and their equipment was destroyed.
      Attacking the media is a tactic used by fascists.

  27. While most of us were filled with horror and shame last Wednesday, your choice to run a feature article basically about “good people” is reminiscent of Fox News. Shame on you.

  28. There are people who dont want certain things to be true even if they are. I was in Minneapolis on May 25 and later and I drove through the city after the rioting which continued. Hundreds of buildings were burned down, looting was manifest, and I have since gone to many sites to ascertain the cost and some believe 1billion to 2 billion dollars to restore. Much of the damage was to minority communities who already suffer due to economic conditions. You cannot tell me I didnt see this.

    • Andrew– Is somebody trying to tell you that you weren’t in Minneapolis on may 25 th ? Is anybody trying to tell you what you saw or didn’t see ? If so, they are not on this site. We all know there were a small group of people who caused a lot of damage over the summer.
      Does that have anything to do with a group of thugs breaking into the capitol building for the purpose of forcefully overturning a free and fair election ?

  29. This, too, should have been a Letter to the Editor. Mr Gallas saw what he saw, but to put the weight of the news pages behind what is the most narrow view of that harrowing, deadly day does a disservice to the truth of what anyone with an internet connection can see, and be sickened by.

  30. Is anyone familiar with the old parable about five blind men describing an elephant?
    I see a parallel here.

  31. I have no doubt there were plenty of people in DC that had no intention of becoming violent or breaking in to the Capital. But that doesn’t make it a wash! The writer literally and figuratively has his own point of view. So, I would suggest the MV Times interview someone that was in the Capital running for their life toward safety with a gas mask on. See how they felt about it, while the writer was bicycling around DC with the “calm and quiet people.” This article is ridiculous! Where was the Editorial Board on this one.

  32. I feel compelled to add my voice and say that I’m baffled and disappointed to see the MV Times decided to run this “good people on both sides” type story. If you support Trump, you support and condone racism. The DC “rally” (riot) was in support of Trump. There is no “both sides” here. I don’t think this man with his story of a “casual, low-key” event in DC needs his voice amplified. I think we need to amplify voices that stand up to and confront the racism and misinformation in our society (a thing I have seen the MV Times do in the past). I would appreciate an explanation by the MV Times as to why they believe this piece was worth running.

  33. Except this is all about you? I’m sure you didn’t commit violence but it wasn’t 4 people that snuck in. It was hundreds. Not about you, you are missing the point.

  34. Five people died. Sounds violent to me. This witness didn’t go inside the capitol building, evidently. Videos everywhere of violent confrontations outside both House and Senate chambers.

  35. So you were just there in DC to be part of a historic moment ? And we should distrust what we all saw “with our own lying eyes”because you said it was a “casual, low key” kind of protest ? I’m stunned that the Times would even give this story print space….Trump was clearly trying to incite violence and Giuliani’s ‘trial by combat” comment was, what peaceful ??
    61 Trump appointed Federal judges, recounts and hand counts in contested states are all wrong ? The Supreme Court even dismissed this voter fraud claim as twaddle with no merit !
    All those people in absurd costumes, waving Trump flags and yelling
    were there for a peaceful low-key reason ? The 5 deaths, destruction,
    and invasion of the Speaker’s office were all peaceful ?
    Steve, you have to want to believe this BS from Trump to go to one of his rallies- he is unhinged and clearly mentally ill. The 25th Amendment or impeachment is our only recourse, Pence- man up.
    “All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing”

  36. last summer, trump signed an executive order that states:
    “It is the policy of the United States to prosecute to the fullest extent … any person or any entity that destroys, damages, vandalizes, or desecrates … or otherwise vandalizes government property. The desire of the Congress to protect Federal property is clearly reflected in section 1361 of title 18, United States Code, which authorizes a penalty of up to 10 years’ imprisonment for the willful injury of Federal property. ”

    Lock them up,,,,, lock them up..
    Sometimes irony is really sweet
    I think we’re gonna need a bigger jail.

  37. funny how so many people start out with “i’m not a trump supporter” but ten do nothing but parrot his narrative ad grievances

  38. How is this being published by the MV times, this is dangerous, 5 people died how is the peaceful?!

  39. My question is why do people with no intention of joining any large protest or insurrection go there just to gawk? A friend’s son did just that, was arrested because he was there and faced a trial and 27 year sentence. He was ultimately proven innocent, but it was a long stressful and expensive process.

  40. I’ve been reading the MV Times with appreciation for its blue collar approach to island news.
    This is the first time I’ve been embarrassed for the paper

  41. As a former journalist who was married to another one, I am appalled by this “story.” This wasn’t news. It was one man’s opinion, certainly not backed up by the videos we were all watching, and certainly not worth coverage in the news pages of any credible newspaper. Shameful pandering.

  42. This needs to be a letter to the editor. This is one individuals account, when there is multiple video evidence and 5 deaths including a capitol police officer. This was an angry mob, shame on the MV times for running this as news. Won’t read again

  43. Mr. Gallas: “On the lighter side I watched a traffic jam which occurred because a old beat up pickup truck from Texas had a flat tire, there is always an abundance of old pick up trucks at Trump Rally’s, many of the people came in RV’s and after the speech proceeded to set up BBQs . . .”

    ON THE LIGHTER SIDE!!?? Methinks you have been to other Trump rallies. Those trucks and BBQs are just plain adorable. Thanks for sharing.

  44. I would not expect this kind of coverage from the Times or any respectable paper. What were you thinking? Are you so desperate to fill a page that you would print such a one-sided, biased account of an incident designed to shatter our democray? People went there to disrupt Congress from accepting the electoral college results. While a “small number” may have actually have stormed the Capital, every body there added power to those who directly committed violence; they are all complicit just as the President is.

  45. This isn’t about Mr Gallas, I really don’t care about his opinion, we all saw what really happened on video. The much bigger problem is that the MV Times printed this nonsense, shame on George Brennan! At the very least the Times and George need to apologize and explain why they decided to print this garbage. SHAME!

    • When I formerly worked in newspapers, it was commonplace to see a phrase posted on the various newsroom walls that read: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

      For me it always served as a sort of journalistic oath, an endorsement of the First Amendment and a bedrock piece of American common sense. Now, as has become evident by so many of the comments on this reader forum, that well-worn concept has somehow become … what … controversial? Dangerous? Hateful?

      Mr. Gallas in the article is simply describing what he saw that day. I am sure the MV Times felt it was valuable to get a first-hand account of the day’s happenings from an Island resident who was there to witness a piece of American history.

      I am sure if there was another Islander who was in Washington D.C. that day who witnessed acts of violence or insurrection or had an anti-Trump bent, I am sure the MV Times would have quoted them in an article or written an article focusing on their accounts.

      In the article Mr. Gallas states unequivocally he does not support Trump or condone the violence that occurred in and around the Capital building that day. And anybody who has been reading the MV Times for any period of time can attest it is not exactly a bastion of conservative thought. Although they would probably be reluctant to admit it, I think it’s safe to say the editors and publishers of the paper do not have a lot of love for Donald Trump or his administration.

      But still, with all the said, so many people have taken to this forum to attack the newspaper or announce they are cancelling their subscriptions, simply because the newspaper had the audacity to publish an account of someone with a view they don’t agree with.

      And when I say ‘a view’, I don’t mean political or ideological views, I mean this man literally didn’t have a view (i.e. vantage point) of events that day in a manner to satisfy the people on this site who seem so quick to attack someone when they don’t hear exactly what they want to hear.

      If the MV Times took an editorial position in support of the violence in Washington D.C. that day, or had a pattern of publishing conservative or pro-Trump stories (which it does not), then perhaps some of these readers comments might be justified. Or if Mr. Gallas, who I don’t know, had a history on inflammatory comments or actions (which as far as I know, he does not) that might also justify some of this contempt and anger.

      But people should not be vilifying the MV Times for simply publishing comments from a person reporting what he saw that day. People need to understand their decision to publish Mr. Gallas comments doesn’t mean they support or agree with his view or even endorse his first-hand accounts of that day.

      Somehow we have reached a point where simply hearing or reading something we don’t agree with — an opinion, an idea and or in this case an eyewitness account — results in immediate calls for silence or cancelation.

      Is this the culture or the country we want to live in? Do we need to throw out the First Amendment simply to protect people from hearing things they don’t like or agree with?

      I welcome anybody to take to this forum to disagree with me or provide facts proving me wrong or even insult me and call me a misinformed Trump supporter (which believe me, Im not). But whatever you do don’t tell me I don’t have a right to speak.

      Because although I disapprove of what you say, I will still defend to the death your right to say it. And I would expect the same from you or anybody else on this forum to do the same for myself, Mr. Gallas or the MV Times.

  46. Fake news? Blame the radical, liberal news media? Let’s see, a guy from Oak Bluffs who says he’s not a trump supporter leaves MV, travels to DC in the middle of Winter, in a pandemic, just to see the sites and behold….nothing happened at the Trump rally. Reports are fake, or greatly exaggerated.
    The MVTimes , whose coverage area rarely extends beyond a Falmouth meeting of the Steamship Authority, decides this ‘impartial’ eyewitness account of events is front page news? The only account the MVTimes prints?
    Trump doesn’t need twitter when he has the MVTimes. What the Vineyard needs is a front page editorial from the MVTimes publisher explaining this.

  47. He reportedly “railed repeatedly about the narrative and the focus of the “mainstream media.” Well that sounds a lot like a Trumpist. Why are the standard prevarications (i.e. making excuses) after being caught misbehaving always the same conservative response? Those “American Patriots” should just apologize for being supporters of the totally untrue election lies; which they continued to promulgate after the riot. Also, let’s not confuse a primary protest vote for Sanders being the same as a Sanders supporter.

  48. What a bunch of bull. Mr. Gallas went because he wanted to witness an event? And most of the folks were peaceful? This is the same twisting of facts that we have endured for 4 long years.
    January 20th cannot come soon enough. The destructive behavior of Trump and his minions for his political power is very clear to see.
    He tells his followers what to do in Trump sign language. They do it. They then pay the price for being loyal followers. The same thing cost Michael Cohen 18 months in jail. How many months will some of these “patriots” spend in prison for doing Trump’s bidding?
    Trumps tactics are eerily similar to one Adolph Hitler. Does anyone study history?
    And for the MV Times to give space for this kind of skewed speak at a time when it is struggling financially is clearly BAD judgement.

  49. Mv Times, your decision to publish a story that downplays the seriousness of this insurrection, especially based on reports from one witness, is irresponsible and frankly, bad journalism. And given the latest photos, video and horrifying stories from people who were there that and in fear for their lives, it certainly is not aging well.

  50. A total non story and a waste of time. Mr Gallas went to a legal. peaceful, if somewhat obnoxious demonstration. What went on in the Capitol itself was a totally different story and was covered fairly by the media. It was a mob incited by weeks of lies and distortions. The GOSP(Grand Old Spineless Party) supported Trump to pursue all legal recourse to his false accusations. All legal recourse revealed no fraud. Mob violence is not legal resource. Mr Gallas would have better served staying home and watching TV.

  51. One thing I learned as a newspaper journalist is never let a source control the story. You could have written the headline “Oak Bluffs man confirms Capitol police did little to stop mob.” It’s true and more representative of what actually happened. Maybe that’s not sensational enough for you? You chose instead to minimize a horrific event. Shame on you.

  52. The FBI’s definition of domestic terrorism is “violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial or environmental nature.”

    What none of these folks seem to realize is that in the commission of felonies (entering the U.S. Capitol forcefully, etc.) in the pursuit of political goals (the illegal participation in maintaining Trump in power) they qualify nicely for classification as terrorists.

    They should be treated as such.

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