Protests have erupted in US cities following a controversial presidential election where a clear winner has yet to be determined.
Donald Trump’s campaign has raised legal challenges over alleged irregularities in several battlefield states. Challenger Joe Biden announced the creation of a legal fund for “electoral protection”.
Black Lives Matter activists and allied Democratic-leaning protest groups have started a mass mobilization in major cities to ensure the vote count continues, and have threatened to continue protests outside the city. White House and elsewhere unless the Trump campaign ends its planned legal challenges in states where voting irregularities have been suspected.
BLM and a group known as “ Count Every Vote ” called on Trump to concede defeat, organizing rallies on Wednesday in major cities such as Washington, DC, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Seattle , Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego and Seattle, demanding that the counting of the mail-in ballots continue unabated. In Portland, the city that has witnessed numerous protests since the summer, a riot has been declared, prompting Oregon authorities to activate the National Guard.
Shut Down DC, a protest group formed in 2019, with a self-proclaimed goal of “making plans to stand up to deal with the Trump administration’s attacks on democracy,” calls on protesters in the capital to rally at the Black Lives Matter Plaza across from the White House, and urges them to “keep showing up and supporting each other until people swear in a new government”>
A separate group known as the Sunrise Movement planned to overthrow Trump even before the election took place, with video deleted from an alleged Zoom call released by organizers urging protesters to “shut down the White House” and posting a “Target map” “Including major government buildings, media, police stations.
ShutDown DC, Sunrise Movement, BLM discuss their plans to disrupt the 2020 election. They plan to shut down DC and other major cities taking over federal buildings, a White House seat, intercepting officials and senators to close … https: //t.co/T5VnNHUlBr
– Chloe (@MistralWinds) November 2, 2020
Suggesting they were “facing an administration and a potential coup and political insurgency,” Lisa Fithian, “a protest consultant,” told organizers that in a crisis the goal was ” to make sure it’s the one we’re creating. We want them to respond to us and not to respond to them. In a coup, insurgency, or uprising, whoever has the guns can often win. We need to be clear. Trump has to go, ”Fithian added.
More than 100 events were planned between Wednesday evening and Saturday by more than 165 grassroots organizations, unions and advocacy groups across the country.
Electoral battle on the way to the courts
The wave of protests began on election night, after the Trump campaign signaled the outgoing president was on track to a second term.
… ..There were a large number of secretly rejected ballots as has been widely reported!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2020
The Trump campaign on Wednesday filed election-related lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. According to the PA, the new filings aim to ensure campaign observers have access to counting and vote processing locations, and express concerns about postal votes. In Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign is seeking to challenge the Supreme Court’s decision to allow ballots received up to three days after the election to be counted.
Ahead of the election, Trump and his staff complained vigorously about the mail-in ballots, claiming they were plagued by scams because they were not as closely watched by election officials, which would have them made easier to steal, tamper with or modify. Trump’s Democratic opponents have dismissed those concerns and published strategies on how to force the president to step down if he refuses to give in. No less than 100 million Americans voted by mail in 2020, according to the US Elections Project.
On Wednesday, Biden announced the creation of an “ electoral protection ” fund to counter Trump’s legal challenges in court, and urged his supporters to contribute.
After taking Michigan early Thursday morning, Biden holds six electoral votes after the victory with 264 electoral votes. Trump has 214 electoral votes and leads in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Alaska. Nevada remains too close to be called, with its six electoral votes yet to be awarded. There, Biden would lead the vote count with less than 8,000 votes, with 75% of the reported result.
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