Police Prepare for Violence in Downtown Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON — Hundreds of protesters, onlookers and well-wishers wandered among television cameras and police outside fences placed around the White House Tuesday evening.
Around them boarded up buildings stretched for blocks in anticipation of violence when the election results are announced. Protest signs covered a large swath of the large black “anti-climb fence” a block in front of the White House.
Some people in the crowd came with angry shouts, others played music while still others stood around observing.
Sunsara Taylor, a self-described co-initiator with the activist group RefuseFascism.org, said she and her fellow protesters were denouncing the president “because Donald Trump is a genocidal racist.”
More than a dozen of them held signs saying, “Trump/Pence Out Now.” They also pledged to continue their protests indefinitely if Trump won re-election.
Taylor cast doubt on the fairness of any election results that might favor Trump.
“He’s been working to disqualify voters,” Taylor told The Well News after several minutes of criticizing Trump on a microphone. “He has encouraged voter intimidation.”
RefuseFascism.org is not threatening violence but police and city officials still are preparing for it. They said the most likely scenarios are conflict in the streets and at polling places.
More than two dozen law enforcement agencies operate in Washington. The ones overseeing election night security included the Secret Service, the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
Early indications from activist groups show their concerns appear to be well-founded.
A coalition of groups such as Black Lives Matter and Shutdown DC have been using the Internet to train their supporters for a protest outside the White House and in cities nationwide.
Fox News discovered leaked documents and Zoom call recordings that described their mobilization plans if Trump was re-elected. The plans called for shutting down federal buildings and interrupting public transportation.
Some people in the crowd outside the White House were more sympathetic to the current administration.
“I’m showing my full support for my president,” said Kehinde Ogun, 35, a Washington, D.C. , resident who described himself as “actively homeless.”
He said he likes Trump’s criminal justice reform program and his efforts to increase employment.
“I’m a big fan of his,” Ogun said.
Others took a more passive attitude about the displays of activism that grew as the evening progressed toward an announcement of a presidential winner.
“I feel like it’s an important moment in history and I wanted to be here to experience it,” said Allison Gibson, a 26-year-old nurse originally from Cartersville, Ga.
She said she voted for Joe Biden.
One demonstrator showed no preference for Trump or Biden, only legalization of marijuana. He wore a green costume that looked like a cross between a marijuana plant and a Sasquatch monster.
His sign said, “Potsquatch for President.”
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