The aftermath of last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol continues with more arrests being made, President Donald Trump being banned from several social media platforms and political parties reacting with everything from calls for his impeachment to a local social media blackout.
About 60 people have been arrested for their actions in Washington, ranging from weapons charges to violating curfew, according various news organizations.
Seven of those arrested are from North Carolina. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that Thomas Gronek, 46, of Asheville, was arrested for carrying a pistol without a permit, possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device, and possession of unregistered ammunition. The Citizen-Times cites police records.
Jay Thaxton, 46, of Concord, was also arrested and charged with a curfew violation. The Stanly News & Press wrote that Thaxton was one of the organizers protesting the probation of the North Stanly High School cheerleaders after they displayed a Trump flag at a football game.
At the time, the Albemarle newspaper reported Thaxton was a member of the Proud Boys, a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center designated as a hate group.
A photo of Thaxton is being circulated showing him wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat with a Confederate flag in the background. The photo came from The Jacksonville Daily News and was taken at a pro-Confederate rally in Pittsboro in October 2019.
The Cabarrus County Republican Party is calling for a “Social Media Blackout,” asking its members to avoid posting to social media for the next 30 days.
The move comes after several social media companies, including Twitter and Facebook, have blocked or banned President Trump from their sites. Many are blaming the president for inciting protesters in Washington last week, many of whom stormed into the Capitol.
This is an email message sent out by the Cabarrus GOP to its membership Saturday evening:
“Today, the Cabarrus County Republican Party is announcing a 30-day blackout on all of our social media channels, effective immediately.
“Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others have become increasingly authoritarian in the enforcement of their community standards. Their heavy-handed moderation practices are disproportionately employed against conservative voices. We understand the need to restrict illegal activity on social media platforms, but we stand in solidarity with those who have been unfairly targeted. We want to make it very clear that we expect ‘Big Tech’ to support free speech and facilitate the open discussion of ideas on their platforms.
“Companies like Facebook and Twitter rely on user generated content to drive interaction on their services. They have become some of the wealthiest companies in the world by inserting ads into the stream of posts, photos and videos created by their users. By withholding our content from these services for one month, we hope that you will have fewer interruptions to your day and will spend less time looking at social media apps.
“We will respond to comments and messages on our social channels as necessary. However, we will be using email almost exclusively during this blackout.”
The email message is followed by the names of Cabarrus GOP leaders: Chairman Scott Elliott, Vice Chairman Anita Brown, Secretary Parish Moffitt and Communications Director Greg Mills.