PORTLAND, Ore. Urge election officials to “count each vote,” demonstrators marched through the streets in several US cities on Wednesday in response to President Trump’s positive effort to challenge counting of votes in Tuesday’s presidential election.
In Minneapolis, protesters blocked a highway, prompting the arrests. In Portland, hundreds of people gathered on the waterfront to protest the president’s attempt to intervene in the vote count as a separate group protested against the police and urged racial justice to spill through the city center, smashing Shop windows and confront the police officers and the National Guard army.
In Phoenix, about 150 pro-Trump protesters, some of them armed, had gathered outside the county recording office, where a closely watched vote count could help determine the outcome. the results of the election are in progress.
At some point, protesters claimed that Adrian Fontes, the district official who oversees elections in Maricopa county, failed to tally a few votes and cost Mr. Trump’s votes in the most populous district. Arizona – though there is no evidence that any of the ballots have been misplaced.
Keely Varvel, Fontes’ deputy chief of staff, said there are no plans to suspend counting of votes because of the protests in front of the building. Ms. Varvel said: “We are still planning to finish our scheduled ballot processing and report further results tonight.
In Detroit, another group of pro-Trump poll watchers had gathered earlier in the day outside a polling center in Detroit, asking officials to “stop tallying” votes after the Trump campaign. filed a lawsuit to suspend the counting of votes in Michigan.
Mr. Trump announced early on Wednesday that he had won the election long before key states counted all their votes. He spends most of the day asserting, without proof, that people are trying to “steal” the election from him and raise doubts about the legitimacy of many of the votes sent. post office because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier on Thursday, Joseph R. Biden Jr had only a handful of electoral votes left to win the election, and Mr. Trump’s campaign is conducting an active legal effort to challenge the counting of votes. lawsuits in Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania.
Carol Carmick, 59, said: “It was a dangerous moment, saying she joined the protests in Portland out of fear that Mr. Trump would try to stay in power even if he lost the election. .
Protesters also gathered in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago and elsewhere, some of them continuing protests on racial justice and policy that have rocked the country since the police. killing George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. Many protests have been planned for the coming days.
In Minneapolis, several hundred protesters were angry at the president’s announcement marched onto Interstate 94, prompting police to clear the roadway.
“Our focus is not to allow Donald Trump to steal this election from the American people,” Nekima Levy Armstrong, a lawyer participating in the rally, said in a freeway phone interview. . She said that the protesters stopped traffic and that police, some of them riding on horses, arrested and refused to allow the protesters to leave.
The Minnesota State Patrol said on Twitter that it was arresting protesters and demonstrators on the highway “which are” illegal and very dangerous for pedestrians and car drivers. “
In New York, protesters held a peaceful rally in Manhattan earlier on Wednesday calling for every vote to be counted and racial equality, but hostile clashes between protesters and the police developed later when protesters shut down traffic in the West Village for a short time, and policemen pushed protesters onto the sidewalk and arrested at least 20 people.
In Portland, hundreds of people paraded through the city center. “The voting has ended. The Fight Goes On, ”wrote one sign. The crowd then paused at a separate “Count every vote” rally along the waterfront, where speakers expressed concern that Mr. Trump, who had lost in Oregon, was trying to sabotage the show. vote and prevent counting of votes in other states.
Part of the crowd passed through the city center, where some people broke through windows. At that point, dozens of policemen began chasing the mob through the streets and declaring a riot. Governor Kate Brown extended her emergency statement earlier in the day, allowing her to activate the National Guard to operate on Wednesday night.
The city has seen persistent protests since May, and many protesters have vowed to continue actions in support of racial justice and against police brutality no matter who. win election.
More than a dozen protests against Trump’s attempt to stop the count of votes were organized by Fascism Refusal. At a rally in Seattle, a group of protesters moved through the streets, shouting, “Every city, every town, Trump-Pence out now” and “counting every vote.”
At the Trump-pro-Trump event in Phoenix, at least 150 people gathered in front of Parliament House before marching to the Maricopa County Recorder Office.
Jim Williams, 67, a welder attending the rally, said: “The only way Biden can win against Arizona is through fraud. “I won’t accept a victory in Biden. I don’t want to live under the Communist regime ”.
Some in the crowd chanted “Down With Fox”, reflecting the anger of protesters at Fox News’s decision on Tuesday to call Arizona for Mr. Biden, a move that several other news outlets followed. that was followed.
Mike Baker reported from Portland, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs from New York, and Simon Romero from Phoenix. Report contributed by Christiaan Triebert and Ed Shanahan in New York, Kaitlin Gillespie in Portland, and Golden Hallie in Seattle.