Chanting “This is not over yet!” and “Stop stealing,” President Donald Trump supporters protested in state capitals across the country on Saturday, refusing to accept defeat and reiterating no accusations. Trump’s basis that the Democrats won by fraud.
From Atlanta and Tallahassee to Austin, Bismarck, Boise and Phoenix, crowds ranging in size from a few tens to a few thousand – some of them openly carrying guns – disparaging news of Joe Biden’s victory After more than three days of suspenseful counting of votes, the Democrats took the lead. Fighting broke out in several cities.
In Atlanta, outside the state Capitol in the longstanding Republican stronghold in Georgia, people chanted “Lock him up!”; has resonated among the estimated 1,000 supporters of Trump. Others shouted, “It’s not over yet! This is not over yet! “and” Fake news! “The streets were flooded with American flags and Trump banners.
No immediate violence was reported, although at one point police came forward to separate those who opposed Trump from supporters. Biden took the lead in Georgia, the country has not become a Democrat since 1992.
Jordan Kelley, a 29-year-old from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, drove more than three hours to Atlanta to attend a rally in favor of Trump.
“There’s electoral fraud going on here, and claims that voters in Georgia, a state with GOP governor and secretary of state, improperly tally the ballots to put Biden ahead,” said Kelley. “Even though I live in Tennessee, I am an American and I want to make sure the Americans have a say in the election.”
He plans to make the 10-hour trip to Washington next week to demonstrate the Supreme Court steps, where Trump and his lawyers have sworn to finally bring his case.
Emphasize difficult feelings on both sides On the nation’s deep political divide, anti-Trump protesters in Washington booed, shouted obscenity, shouted “A loser! A loser! ”And handed a finger to Trump’s convoy as the president returned to the White House from a golf trip on Saturday.
Two signs were posted in front of Trump’s hotel in Washington that read “Don’t be a painful loser” and “Face reality.”
For his part, Biden pleaded for unity and reconciliation in a Saturday night televised speech, said that it was time for the Americans to “put down the harsh words, lower the temperature” and “stop seeing our opponents as enemies”.
“Let this era of grim demons in America begin to end here and now,” he said.
Contrary to claims made by Trump’s supporters, there is no evidence about any serious ballot fraud. And some Republican elected officials across the country began to shun Trump and urge him to accept the results gently.
Barbara Perry, director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, said that Trump and his supporters outright denying Biden as the rightful president seemed to represent something new. in American political history.
“We usually don’t have a leader who loses the presidency and then tells his followers, ‘This is wrong. Perry said. “The incumbent presidents were so mad, so mad that they didn’t attend the inauguration, but not like this, where they’re leading people who say this is cheating.”
A few thousand Trump supporters have gathered at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg. Pennsylvania plays an important role in Biden’s victory.
Bruce Fields, 66, spoke of the news organizations claiming Biden as the winner today. “If not, we can kiss goodbye freely.”
About two dozen men armed with powerful weapons, some dressed in camouflage, joined the protest.
At the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix, a crowd grew to more than 1,000 people within hours. Biden won Arizona on the way to win the Electoral College.
“It’s suspicious that President Trump, with the red wave we’ve seen in Arizona, is having trouble,” Kelli Ward, a former state senator and chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, told protesters support Trump. “I want to know if there is any discrepancy with the numbers from the machine.”
More than 1,000 people gathered at the Texas Capitol in Austin, with police keeping Trump and Biden supporters on opposite sides of the street. Several hundred protesters showed up in Salem, Oregon, for a “Prevent Theft” protest.
Even in a place not close by, Trump supporters gathered in hordes to express their support for him and vent their disappointment over the results of the election. Outside North Dakota’s Capitol in Bismarck, the state’s Republican congressional delegation joined in chanting, protesters carrying signs.
Some skirmishes have erupted between Trump supporters and pro-Biden and Black Lives Matters protesters, with a BLM supporter trying to handcuff himself to a Trump supporter. The two men began to grapple on the ground.
An officer escorted Black Lives Matter supporters onto the team car. It is not clear whether he will be arrested or not.
In Lansing, Michigan, about 50 Trump supporters and a smaller group of Black Lives Matter marchers gathered at the state Capitol, where they shoved, shoved and yelled at each other in a stance. stress. But as soon as the race was called out, a few people from both sides prayed and at least one pair embraced.
Frank Dobbs, 40, of Henderson, Nevada, brought a bull and a 2020 Trump flag that he struggled with a gust of wind during a rally outside the Clark County voter registration office. in North Las Vegas.
“It’s not over until it’s over. Still in court. If ever there was ever to reveal widespread fraud, this is the president must do it, Dobbs said. “The media don’t decide who wins the presidential election. The legal voters of this country decide ”.
AP journalists, Jocelyn Noveck in New York City; Anna Liz Nichols of Lansing, Michigan; and James MacPherson of Bismarck, North Dakota, contributed to this report. Goldman reports from Lansing, Michigan, and Snow contributions from Phoenix.