Activists and protesters took to the streets Wednesday for a second night in a row as the 2020 presidential election inched closer to results.
By Wednesday evening, protests and marchers were underway in cities such as Philadelphia, Detroit and Chicago. At times, emotions ran high and chaos erupted in Michigan, a key state in the race.
More than 100 events are planned nationwide between Wednesday and Saturday, organized by local partners of Protect the Results, a coalition of more than 165 grassroots organizations, advocacy groups and labor unions led by activist groups Indivisible and Stand Up America. The group has decided not to hold hundreds more events that were initially planned.
Organizers at ShutDownDC plan for more aggressive actions as the week goes on depending on the outcome – whether President Donald Trump wins or whether he tries to question the results.
“We knew this would happen,” the advocacy group ShutDownDC said in a tweet calling for a rally Wednesday with the hashtags #DeliverDemocracy and #CountEveryVote.
The Los Angeles Police Department announced for the second day in a row a citywide tactical alert “to ensure sufficient resources to address any incidents that may arise as a result of Election Day activities.” The alert comes after arrests were made Tuesday night.
Hundreds gather in downtown Chicago
As night fell in Chicago, hundreds of people gathered at a downtown plaza for a “Trump out! Power to the people!” protest, co-organized by more than a dozen organizations and billed as a “post-election protest” to demand the defunding of the police, immigrant rights and more.
The group chanted “count every vote!” Some people with the American Federation of Teachers wore t-shirts that said “count every vote.” Several groups held long banners bearing the same words.
“We must count every vote because too many of our people have already had their rights stolen from them,” said Amisha Patel, executive director of the Grassroots Collaborative, a Chicago-based labor coalition.
— Grace Hauck
Protesters march in Philadelphia, New York
Pennsylvania has become a focal point of the presidential election, and protesters took to the streets Wednesday afternoon to demand every vote be counted.
An ABC News aerial shot of the scene in Philadelphia shows marchers with banners that say “Count Every Vote.” President Donald Trump’s campaign on Wednesday filed a request with the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a Pennsylvania state Supreme Court ruling allowing election officials to count mail-in ballots received by Nov. 6.
The Washington Post reported demonstrators gathered near Independence Hall in downtown Philadelphia, with two holding a banner that said “Count every vote.”
A similar march, with people carrying “Count every vote” banners, was underway in New York, CNN reported.
Chaos erupts as Republican vote challengers cry foul in Detroit
A chaotic scene erupted outside the vote tally room at TCF Center in Detroit as election officials informed dozens of challengers that they could not reenter the room due to it being over-capacity.
People gathered outside the ballot counting area pounded on the doors and windows, shouting, “Let us in” and “Stop the count” as only about a half-dozen tables continued to count ballots.
Police had to push back crowds as they argued to be allowed in the vote-counting arena. Republicans shouted that they were unfairly being kept out, but then Democratic challengers countered that it was not true because they were being kept outside, too.
— Tresa Baldas and Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press
About 30 demonstrators gathered in front of Baltimore’s City Hall on Wednesday afternoon to protest Trump’s false declaration of victory, the Baltimore Sun reported. The crowd, led by the Sunrise Movement, sang songs and listened to speeches about the country’s political state.
Organizer Kate Ericksen told the Sun that the group knew the results would still be “up in the air” when they planned the rally but wanted a place for people in the movement to gather.
In downtown Detroit, Reuters reported about 100 people gathered for an interfaith event and a planned march Wednesday morning to demand officials count all votes and stop Trump from “stealing the election.”
The D.C. Metropolitan Police Department reported four arrests overnight. The charges included crossing police lines, assault, inciting violence and resisting arrest. The four suspects ranged in age from 23 to 32.
A group of protesters from Extinction Rebellion gathered Wednesday at Union Station, according to social media posts, with plans to march to Fox News, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the American Petroleum Institute as part of the larger ShutDownDC protests happening this week.
On Thursday, ShutDownDC activists plan to host a caravan of motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Depending on the outcome, organizers have plans to possibly “disrupt business as usual for some of the institutions that are most complicit in Trump’s attack on democracy.”
Contributing: Grace Hauck, Chris Quintana and Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg