BLM protesters clash with cops as thousands gather outside White House, threaten to stay for weeks if Trump wins
Thousands of demonstrators engaged in a scuffle with police officers as they walked toward Black Lives Matter Plaza, a block from the White House on Tuesday evening, November 3, preparing for a protest at a time when multiple states still have hours left before the polling stations close. An early scuffle reportedly broke out after protesters did not comply with police orders to move a vehicle illegally parked in the area. The event reportedly resulted in the arrest of a demonstrator.
As Shutdown DC and Black Lives Matter began their demonstrations to "start this next phase of the election cycle in the streets", cops were seen escorting a truck of musical performers there. The demonstrators have threatened to continue the unrest for weeks to come if Trump gets elected again in the 2020 election. Reports state that the groups have planned to hold an eight-hour event at Black Lives Matter Plaza, which will include a giant screen displaying the election results and performances by bands and DJs. The groups had reportedly "planned for months" to launch a new wave of protests from the night of Election Day.
Ground reports stated that although Trump supporters were also present at the event, they were vastly outnumbered by anti-Trump demonstrators. The events are being initiated despite secret service agents patrolling the area and erecting a "non-scalable" fence surrounding the perimeter of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Shutdown DC warned on its website that it would "not be the time we need to create disruption to stop a coup — yet" as votes would still be coming in on election night.
"But we'll be in a good place to respond to whatever might happen. This has been a really long and dark era so we're going to be together to process our feelings of hope, anger, fear and exhaustion as a community," the website stated. "Regardless of the results, election-night programming will probably wrap up around midnight so we can be energized and ready to hit the streets again on the 4th," it added.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), meanwhile, were also preparing for potential unrest in their region as the National Guard was activated in at least 16 states. Major cities across the nation are bracing for potential election-linked unrest, which could result in weeks of sustained demonstrations on streets if President Donald Trump wins the reelection. The president has consistently refused to say whether he will accept the election results if they are not in his favor.
Demonstrators gathering near the White House are also bracing for potential violence considering how the president used federal law enforcement post-June this year to clear the plaza as peaceful protesters demonstrated against George Floyd's killing in police custody and systemic racism in the country. One of the organizers, Nadine Bloch, has reportedly been conducting training sessions involving protesters to federal employees, seeking lessons on methods of professional civil disobedience. While a core organizer with the local Black Lives Matter affiliate, April Goggans, told the Associated Press: "The police are readying for battle. We should be very clear about that."