Donald Trump managed to find a new way to further divide the country as he perpetuated the lie that voter fraud was the cause of his shrinking leads in key battleground states expected to tilt the results in favor of Joe Biden. As of early Friday morning, Biden’s lead among electoral college votes placed him just one state away from victory, a fact that Trump tried to counter by distorting the circumstances and falsely describing himself as a victim.
Those unproven claims that have repeatedly been made since Election Night and offered without any proof have prompted his most ardent supporters — including and especially armed ones — to hit the streets in protest. Ironically, it appeared they were actually protesting the long-established American political democratic tradition of legally counting and verifying ballots.
Those angry Trump supporters stood in stark contrast to the celebratory demonstrations that have simultaneously popped up in key cities in reaction to the increasing likelihood of Biden unseating a president who has made a habit of vilifying the same Black voters being credited with saving Biden’s candidacy. Again, the irony…
However, at least one of those protests was marred by allegations of police brutality as the NYPD was accused of inciting violence against people peacefully demonstrating and exercising their constitutional rights to freedoms of assembly and speech.
Taken in totality, the dueling protests were all but a metaphoric microcosm of the calendar year that’s been 2020, which has been disrupted by politically inspired malfeasance that led in part to the proliferation of the deadly coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. Likewise, the pandemics of racism and police violence also exploded, renewing a series of pre-existing protests that have continued through the election and widened the divide of ideologies that disproportionately fall along racial and socioeconomic lines.
So it certainly didn’t help matters any when Trump held a press conference Thursday to insist without evidence that he was being jobbed, something he tried to hint at in the early morning hours following Election Day after it appeared Biden was surging in votes. Trump maintained his call for votes to stop being counted so his baseless allegations of fraud could be investigated. The media instantly called out his lies for what they are.
That was right around the time when it was unclear which candidate was going to win the swing state of Michigan. As votes were still being counted Wednesday, groups of Trump’s supporters descended on the center where the votes were being counted and angrily demanded to be let inside to serve the process.
The tense moment was neatly summed up by this accurate Black man in Detroit.
On Thursday night, pro-Trump protests erupted in parts of Nevada and Arizona, two states that many news outlets have still not officially called as votes there continue to be counted. It appeared the seeds of doubt in the democratic process planted in their head by the president prompted them to hold so-called “stop the steal” protests demanding an end to what they claim is fraudulent activity by the people tabulating the ballots.
One problem with that argument, though: Those two states have Democratic and Republican governors, respectively, who have been decidedly united in not going along with Trump’s false and unproven narrative of voter fraud, all but busting the myth the president is trying to push on the public.
It was in that context that the “count the vote” and “stop the steal” protests took place as America waits to learn wh will officially win the 2020 election. In the meantime, scroll down to see more scenes from the protests.
Trump supporters carry their long guns and sidearms to protest in the parking lot at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center as ballots continue to be counted inside the building on Nov. 5 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Ballot boxes dancing to Missy Elliot is how Philadelphia is doing right now pic.twitter.com/eQgbDuUS35— Josie Ensor (@Josiensor) November 6, 2020
Trump supporters protest outside of State Farm Arena as ballots continue to be counted inside on Nov. 5 in Atlanta.
7. New York City
“Kettling” is a hyper-violent, dangerous, escalation tactic by police. Traps a crowd of people in a confined space for a prolonged time. Human Rights Watch just found the NYPD committed international human rights violations in the Bronx for the tactic in June. Tonight the NYPD: https://t.co/kpCclz2WnR— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) November 5, 2020
A Trump supporter holds a flag depicting the president as Rambo during a protest outside State Farm Arena where Fulton County Elections officials were counting ballots Nov. 5 in Atlanta.
9. New York City
The NYPD is rioting on the streets because Trump is losing. https://t.co/5iENsGtBZG— amanda wallwin (@amandawallwin) November 5, 2020
Demonstrators hold up signs as they march during a Count Every Vote demonstration at the Pennsylvania State Capitol on Nov. 05 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
11. New York City
this is a public park pic.twitter.com/3xnoZILZ2C— New York Year Zero (@newyorkyearzero) November 6, 2020
Donald Trump supporter Raul Latorre waves flags and joins others in protesting the Nevada vote outside Clark County Election Department on Nov. 5 in North Las Vegas.
Right on time:— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) November 6, 2020
Alex Jones just showed up at the Maricopa County election center to do his batshit crazy thing...https://t.co/kMNZrLa4fr
14. Washington, D.C.Source:Getty
A woman waves an upside-down American flag as people gather at Black Lives Matter Plaza waitng for the results of the presidential election in front of the White House on Nov. 5 in Washington, D.C.
The Stop the Steal Rally in Las Vegas (going on two hours now) has turned into a street party in front of the Clark County Election Department.— Courtney Holland 🇺🇸 (@hollandcourtney) November 6, 2020
Nothing but love and patriotism for our country and for @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/RPfGZmP6p4
17. New York City
18. New York City
We received this video of NYPD officers inciting violence at the We Choose Freedom march earlier, using batons to shove heckling protesters. @NYPDnews @NYPDShea @NYCMayor— NYC Protest Updates (@protest_nyc) November 6, 2020
Thanks to the anonymous tipster. pic.twitter.com/d058FzBdXq
19. New York City
The most joyous rally up Lafayette Street and there are about about 5, 6 maybe 7 times the number of nypd, why???? I’ve never seen anything like this before, and I’ve shot many protests. pic.twitter.com/tdI7hFVzbP— Nina Roberts (@ninarobertsnyc) November 6, 2020
20. New York City
Another arrest. “Bitch where are my shoes?!?” pic.twitter.com/iYPfEnqAVW— Scott Heins (@scottheins) November 6, 2020
21. New York City
“No homophobia No transphobia” up Lafayette pic.twitter.com/MhNZ2foOnb— Scott Heins (@scottheins) November 6, 2020
22. New York City
An undercover officer dressed in black bloc reveals his badge.pic.twitter.com/2lbyt2pWrg— NYC Protest Updates (@protest_nyc) November 6, 2020