Chanting “This isn’t over!” and “Stop the steal,” supporters of President Donald Trump protested at state capitols throughout the nation Saturday, refusing to accept defeat and echoing Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations that the Democrats gained by fraud.
From Atlanta and Tallahassee to Austin, Bismarck, Boise and Phoenix, crowds ranging in measurement from just a few dozen to just a few thousand — a few of them brazenly carrying weapons — decried the information of Joe Biden’s victory after greater than three suspense-filled days of vote-counting put the Democrat excessive. Skirmishes broke out in some cities.
In Atlanta, exterior the state Capitol within the longtime Republican stronghold of Georgia, chants of “Lock him up!” rang out amongst an estimated 1,000 Trump supporters. Others chanted, “This isn’t over! This isn’t over!” and “Fake news!” The streets have been awash with American flags and Trump banners.
No speedy violence was reported, although at one level, police moved to separate Trump opponents from supporters. Biden held a slim lead in Georgia, which hasn’t gone for a Democrat since 1992.
Jordan Kelley, a 29-year-old from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, drove three-plus hours to Atlanta to attend the pro-Trump rally.
“There’s election fraud going on here,” mentioned Kelley, claiming that voters in Georgia, a state with a GOP governor and secretary of state, had improperly counted the ballots to put Biden forward. “Even though I live in Tennessee, I’m an American, and I want to make sure Americans have a voice in the election.”
He deliberate to make the 10-hour journey to Washington subsequent week to exhibit on the steps of the Supreme Court, the place Trump and his attorneys have vowed to finally make his case.
Underscoring the onerous emotions on each side of the nation’s deep political divide, anti-Trump protesters in Washington booed, yelled obscenities, shouted “Loser! Loser!” and gave the finger to Trump’s motorcade because the president returned to the White House from a golf outing Saturday.
Two indicators posted in entrance of Trump’s Washington resort learn “Don’t be a sore loser” and “Face Reality.”
For his half, Biden pleaded for unity and reconciliation in a televised handle Saturday evening, saying it’s time for Americans to “put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature” and “stop treating our opponents like enemies.”
“Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end here and now,” he mentioned.
Contrary to the claims of Trump supporters, there was no proof of any severe vote fraud. And some Republican elected officers across the nation started to distance themselves from Trump and urge him to accept the end result gracefully.
The utter rejection of Biden because the authentic president by Trump and his supporters seems to characterize one thing new in American political historical past, mentioned Barbara Perry, presidential research director on the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.
“We typically haven’t had a leader who loses the presidency who then tells his followers, `This is false. This has been stolen from us,’” Perry mentioned. “Incumbent presidents have been mad, so mad they didn’t go to the inauguration, but not like this, where they are leading those people to say this is fraudulent.”
A few thousand Trump supporters gathered on the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg. Pennsylvania performed an important position in Biden’s victory.
“If we don’t stop this today, it’ll all be over,” Bruce Fields, 66, mentioned of reports organizations declaring Biden the winner. “Otherwise we can kiss freedom goodbye.”
About two dozen closely armed males, some sporting camouflage, joined the rally.
At the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix, a crowd swelled to greater than 1,000 inside hours. Biden gained Arizona on his means to victory within the Electoral College.
“It’s very suspicious that President Trump, with the red wave we’ve been seeing in Arizona, is struggling,” Kelli Ward, former state senator and chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party, instructed boisterous pro-Trump demonstrators. “I want to know if there is any discrepancy with the numbers coming out of the machines.”
More than 1,000 folks gathered on the Texas Capitol in Austin, with police maintaining Trump and Biden supporters on reverse sides of the road. Several hundred demonstrators turned out in Salem, Oregon, for a “Stop the Steal” rally.
Even in a spot that wasn’t shut, Trump supporters gathered in droves to specific assist for him and vent frustration over the end result of the election. Outside North Dakota’s Capitol in Bismarck, the state’s all-Republican congressional delegation joined chanting, sign-carrying protesters.
A number of skirmishes broke out between Trump backers and pro-Biden and Black Lives Matters demonstrators, with one BLM supporter trying to handcuff himself to a Trump supporter. The two males started wrestling on the bottom.
An officer escorted the Black Lives Matter supporter to a squad automobile. It was unclear if he had been arrested.
In Lansing, Michigan, about 50 Trump supporters and a smaller group of marchers carrying Black Lives Matter flags converged on the state Capitol, the place they pushed, shoved and shouted at each other in a tense standoff. But inside moments of the race being referred to as, just a few from each side broke into prayer, and no less than one pair hugged.
Frank Dobbs, 40, of Henderson, Nevada, introduced a bullhorn and a Trump 2020 flag that he wrestled with in a stiff wind throughout a rally exterior the Clark County registrar of voters workplace in North Las Vegas.
“It’s not over until it’s over. There’s still the courts. If ever there’s ever a time to expose widespread fraud, this is the president to do it,” Dobbs mentioned. “The media doesn’t decide who wins the presidency. The legal voters of this country decide.”