Protests in NY, Detroit, Portland, Arizona Before Election Results
In New York City, supporters of Biden took to the streets to demand that every vote must be counted.
Thousands have taken to the streets across various states in the United States with different slogans and messages ahead of the expected results of the 2020 presidential elections.
COUNT EVERY VOTE, BIDEN SUPPORTERS URGE
In New York City, supporters of Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who maintains a lead over incumbent US President Donald Trump, took to the streets to demand that every vote cast be counted, in reaction to a declaration by the president that he and his team would dispute the process.
“We’ll be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop...We are going to win this and as far as I’m concerned, we have already won,” Trump said late night on Tuesday, even as he declared a premature victory.
In a peaceful turnout in New York, demonstrators expressed hope but were wary of openly calling it for Biden yet. They also stressed a need to complete counting, AFP reported. Philadelphia also saw marchers come out with banners that said "Count Every Vote."
“Donald Trump has claimed the election before every vote is counted and we are sending the message that that is not acceptable,” a member of the organising group of the demonstration in NYC told AFP.
However, while the rally reportedly dispersed peacefully, there were reports of unrest and clashing with police later in Greenwich Village, NY. According to ABC News, the aftermath saw the police (NYPD) arrest over 20 people, who it said were trying to cause unrest by setting fires, throwing garbage and eggs, and carrying weapons.
Arrest charges were of disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly amongst others, sources told ABC News. NYPD also reportedly confiscated weapons in the city and said that anyone caught with a weapon would be arrested.
According to NYT, as many as 58 people were arrested amid protests in New York.
Meanwhile, Michigan’s capital city Detroit saw a 100-people interfaith event and a planned march to demand that all votes are counted by officials to stop Trump from ‘stealing the election’, according to a report by Reuters.
Hundreds reportedly also gathered in Chicago for a “Trump out! Power to the people!” protest, USA Today reported.
Protesters also marched in the Loop in Chicago to demand every vote be counted in the election.
STOP STEALING ELECTION, SAY TRUMP SUPPORTERS
At another protest in Detroit, Trump supporters caused a chaotic scene outside a vote tally room, chanting ‘stop the count’ and other similar slogans.
The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit in Michigan, asking the state to halt counting until it receives “meaningful access” to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process.
Trump supporters reportedly pounded on doors and windows to be let in to the vote tally room, shouting, “Let us in” and “Stop the count”. USA Today news reported that the police had to push back both Democratic and Republican crowds.
Arrests were also reported in Washington DC, charging four suspects with inciting violence and resisting arrest. DC also witnessed protests outside the Fox News bureau, with chants along the lines of ‘Media, tell the truth’, after claims that the network broadcasted Trump-enabling misinformation.
Trump supporters challenging vote counting also held a small protest outside the Clark County Election Center in Nevada.
Meanwhile, in Arizona, more than 150 supporters of Trump, some of them armed, gathered outside an election office in Arizona capital Phoenix on Wednesday and chanted “Count the vote”. Some Republicans have reportedly accused election officials of manipulating the results to show Trump losing in Maricopa County, which houses about 60 percent of Arizona’s population.
While some media organisations, among them AP and Fox News have called Arizona as a Biden win, some like NBC News maintain that it is too close to call. Biden appears to be leading in the crucial state.
TENSIONS IN PORTLAND
Meanwhile, reports of “violence” have caused the National Guard to be deployed in Portland, Oregon, according to USA Today.
At least eight people have been arrested, ABC News reported, quoting the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Police Department announced a citywide tactical alert. In Minneapolis, a freeway was closed during protests and dozens were arrested, the New York Times reported.
US networks project that Biden now has a total of 264 electoral votes, only six votes shy of the perfect 270, which would win him the presidential seat and oust his incumbent opponent from the White House.
(With inputs from Reuters, ABC News, USA Today, AFP and The New York Times.)
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