Kansans who traveled to D.C. bonded in spiritual war, organizer says

By: - January 8, 2021 2:58 pm

Belle Plaine resident Glen Burdue kept his distance Wednesday as rioters entered the U.S. Capitol. He organized a bus ride for 43 Kansans to participate in the march on Washington, D.C. (Submitted by Glen Burdue to Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Glen Burdue says the “prayer warriors” who joined him in this week’s rally in Washington, D.C., bonded in a spiritual war to wrestle control from corrupt politicians, lying journalists, Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and Chinese influence.

He and his like-minded patriots represent the majority, Burdue said, and will prevail in reclaiming their country.

The semi-retired Belle Plaine resident chartered a bus from Wichita, making stops in Emporia, Topeka and Kansas City, to transport 43 Kansans to the nation’s Capitol. There were farmers, a retired police officer, individuals who have run for political seats, and office holders within the Kansas Republican Party, he said.

Glen Burdue says Kansans who attended the rally in Washington, D.C., were encouraged to find so many other people who shared their beliefs. (Submitted by Glen Burdue to Kansas Reflector)

“We are all hardworking Americans, loyal to our country and patriotic,” Burdue told the passengers on the bus as they left Kansas. “Many, probably most, are Christians. And prayer warriors. And you will find you are among friends on the bus. And you will be encouraged by them. And when you get to Washington, D.C., and you get amongst this huge crowd of people, they will also be people of the same mind — loyal to our country, and men and women of integrity. You will know that they are good people.”

Participants in the rally converged on the U.S. Capitol following a speech by President Donald Trump, overwhelmed police, breached the building, and sent members of Congress fleeing for safety. At least two people died as a result of the violent mob’s actions, including a Capitol Police officer.

The Kansas Republican Party and the Republican delegates who opposed the results of the election all condemned the violent outburst. Others expressed support for those who marched the D.C. streets under the false pretense of a stolen election.

“If you are a police officer in Washington, D.C., or a federal officer working in the Capitol, remember that the people in these rallies are on your side,” said Jason Gill, a lieutenant with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, in a post on his Facebook page. “Remember your oath before your orders.”

Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter, responding to outrage over Gill’s post, said he would investigate the matter, but he cautioned that employees are entitled to their opinions.

“It falls to me to reassure the community we are here to provide service to every citizen, regardless of political affiliation,” Easter said.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said the lawlessness at the Capitol was “sickening, shameful, inexcusable and counterproductive.”

Schmidt formerly served as a director of the Rule of Law Defense Fund, a dark money group associated with the Republican Attorneys General Association. His spokesman said Schmidt stepped down in August 2020 and was unaware of the organization’s role in organizing and promoting the D.C. rally, which was reported by Documented.

Burdue organized and promoted the bus ride through private Facebook groups, including Blue Shield, a group led by retired Topeka police lieutenant Ron Gish to oppose police reforms, and the National Constitutional Coalition of Patriotic Americans. The trip cost $11,100, split among participants.

The bus dropped them off Wednesday morning at the Washington Monument, where they split into groups. Some went to hear the president speak. Burdue and two women walked to the Capitol, where people were already beginning to fill the lawn, he said. Behind him, Burdue watched “a sea of people” continue to pour in from two streets.

When the president finished speaking, “this huge wave of people” rushed toward the crowd at the Capitol. Burdue said he stayed back, but he later heard from those who entered the building.

“There were police there on the sides of the hall, standing, not making any effort to slow the people coming in. No restrictions, no security,” Burdue said. “They were very polite, the police were. The patriots were very polite, spoke to the policemen, and policemen expressed no concerns with them coming in. They went in and went wherever they wanted, but they eventually became scared of trouble and ran out.

“It’s mind-blowing to me that they were allowed to come in without any restrictions whatsoever. And I believe that was a setup to get people in, to blame patriots for doing something wrong. I know there was violence. It’s very likely that Antifa or BLM or others were involved in that. That was not the heart of the people there. We just want our country back.”

Fact checkers found no evidence that Black Lives Matter or anti-fascist antagonists were involved in the breach at the Capitol by the president’s supporters.

Burdue said he left the Capitol as rioters entered the Capitol. The Kansas group’s scheduled appointment with U.S. Rep. Ron Estes, a Republican serving the Wichita-area district, had to be canceled.

The Kansas group remains encouraged by their experience in D.C., Burdue said, where they discovered they weren’t alone in their beliefs that China has bought politicians and seized control of voting machines, that journalists who express Christian views or support the Constitution are weeded out by colleges, and that Trump won’t be out of office for long, if at all, as foretold by prophets.

“We are the majority,” Burdue said. “We are mostly God-fearing, hardworking Americans who love each other and who oppose corruption. We will eventually be victorious in taking our country back.”

Screenshots obtained by Kansas Reflector show Gish’s Blue Shield group on Facebook is filled with racist comments posted by members over the past six months. At least one member of the group commented that she had joined Burdue on the trip and that antifa was to blame for the violence.

Ariane Davis, a community activist in Topeka, referenced the group in an email to city council members, asking them to denounce rioters who put lives in danger.

“I will continue to speak out against hateful organizations and individuals in our great city,” Davis said. “There’s no place in our country or our city for individuals that guise themselves as police supporters but in reality they are racist and hateful human beings.”

In an email to Kansas Reflector, Gish said he doesn’t believe anybody from his Facebook group traveled with Burdue.

“If they did it was on their own and not on behalf of anything Blue Shield is doing,” Gish said.

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Sherman Smith
Sherman Smith

Sherman Smith is the editor in chief of Kansas Reflector. He writes about things that powerful people don't want you to know. A two-time Kansas Press Association journalist of the year, his award-winning reporting includes stories about education, technology, foster care, voting, COVID-19, sex abuse, and access to reproductive health care. Before founding Kansas Reflector in 2020, he spent 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal. He graduated from Emporia State University in 2004, back when the school still valued English and journalism. He was raised in the country at the end of a dead end road in Lyon County.