Morning protests by Trump supporters turn into violent clashes

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Several thousand supporters of President Donald Trump in Washington protested the election results, then greeted Trump’s motorcade before nightly clashes with counter-protesters sparked brawls, at least one stab and at least 20 arrests.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Several thousand supporters of President Donald Trump in Washington protested the election results, then greeted Trump’s motorcade before nightly clashes with counter-protesters sparked brawls, at least a blow of knife and at least 20 arrests.Several other cities also saw rallies of Trump supporters on Saturday refusing to accept Democrat Joe Biden’s constituency and popular vote victory as legitimate. The “Stop the Steal” and “Count Every Vote” cries continued despite the absence of evidence of electoral fraud or other issues that could reverse the outcome.

After dark, the relatively peaceful protests in Washington turned from tense to violent. Videos posted to social media showed brawls, projectiles and clubs as Trump supporters clashed with those demanding to take their MAGA hats and banners and leave. Tensions continued until Sunday morning. Various charges, including assault and possession of weapons, have been filed against those arrested, officials said. Two police officers were injured and several firearms were recovered by the police.

Trump himself had nodded approval to the rally on Saturday morning by sending his procession through the fan-lined streets before heading to his golf club in Virginia. People chanted “USA, USA” and “four years older”, and many carried American flags and placards to show their displeasure with the vote count and to insist that, as Trump has argued without merit , fraud was the reason.

“I just want to keep his spirits up and let him know we support him,” said loyalist Anthony Whittaker of Winchester, Va. He was outside the Supreme Court, where a few thousand people gathered after walking down Pennsylvania Avenue from Freedom Plaza near the White House.

A broad coalition of senior government and industry officials said the November 3 vote and subsequent count went smoothly, with no more than the usual little hiccups – “the safest in American history,” they said, dismissing Trump’s efforts to undermine the integrity of the competition.

In Delray Beach, Florida, several hundred people marched, some carrying “Count Every Vote” and “We Cannot Live Under a Marxist Government” signs. In Lansing, Michigan, protesters gathered on Capitol Hill to hear speakers cast doubt on the results showing Biden winning the state by more than 140,000 votes. Phoenix police estimated 1,500 people gathered outside the Arizona State Capitol to protest Biden’s narrow victory in the state. Protesters in Salem, Oregon, gathered at the Capitol.

Among the speakers in Washington was a newly elected Georgia Republican to the United States House. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has expressed racist views and support for QAnon conspiracy theories, has urged people to march peacefully to the Supreme Court.

Among the protesters were members of the Proud Boys, a neo-fascist group known for its street brawls with ideological opponents at political rallies.

Multiple clashes emerged later that day as small groups of Trump supporters attempted to enter the area around Black Lives Matter Plaza, about a block from the White House, where several hundred anti- Trump had gathered.

In a recurring pattern, Trump supporters who approached the area were harassed, sprayed with water, and saw their MAGA hats and pro-Trump flags ripped off and burned, to cheers. As night fell, several police lines separated the two sides.

Videos posted on social media showed protesters and counter-protesters exchanging punches, punches and slaps. A man with a megaphone shouting “Get out of here!” Was pushed and pushed in the street by a man who was then surrounded by several people and pushed and beaten until he fell the first face in the street. Bloody and dizzy, he was arrested and taken to a police officer.

The ‘March of the Million MAGA’ has been heavily promoted on social media, raising concerns that it will spark conflict with anti-Trump protesters, who gathered near the White House in Black Lives Matter Plaza for weeks.

In preparation, police have closed large swathes of the city center, where many shops and offices have been closed since election day. Chris Rodriguez, director of the city’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, said the police had peacekeeping experience.

The problems reported by the Trump campaign and his allies are typical of every election: problems with signatures, secret envelopes and postmarks on ballots in the mail, as well as the possibility of a small number of ballots. incorrect or lost votes. With Biden leading Trump to wide margins in major battlefield states, none of these issues would impact the election outcome.

A former administration official, Sebastian Gorka, stoked the crowd in front of the Supreme Court by saying: “We can win because he won.” But, he added, “it’s going to be difficult.”

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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