Concern and mistrust heighten insecurity within the US after the elections
© Reuters. Activists take part in a protest led by shutdownDC in Washington the day after the 2020 US presidential election
By Michael Martina and Heather Timmons
DETROIT (Reuters) – After months of protests against racism and police brutality, street demonstrations over the cliffhanger presidential election are likely to take place in the US after President Donald Trump falsely called for victory and called for the vote to be suspended.
About 100 people gathered for an interfaith event Wednesday morning ahead of a planned march through downtown Detroit, the battlefield state of Michigan, to demand a full vote and a so-called peaceful transfer of power.
"We come together as Jews, Christians and Muslims to raise our moral voices that we want peace in our society. Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, we are all human and we are all Americans," said Dawud Walid, an imam or Muslim prayer leader.
The protest flyer called on people to act to stop Trump from "stealing the elections".
Democratic activists planned rallies to protect the votes in Michigan on Wednesday afternoon, including one outside the state capital in Lansing.
"The message is Michigan is fighting back and every vote must be counted," said Kenny Williams (NYSE 🙂 Jr., a spokesman for Detroit Action, one of the groups organizing a march in Detroit. "We understand that Republicans will likely try every trick in the book to win this election. But we make our voice heard by saying that every vote has to be counted."
The excruciatingly tight elections were at stake, and a handful of highly competitive states would decide the outcome in the hours or days ahead.
Trump falsely claimed victory in the early hours of the morning and made unfounded allegations of election fraud in an extraordinary attack on the electoral process.
Michigan still has tens of thousands of ballots and expects an unofficial review by the end of the day, state Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson told reporters.
Democratic candidate Joe Biden narrowly leads Republican Trump with just under 96% of the vote in Michigan, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Trump's remarks were the kind of phone call protest organizers had planned. The "Protect the Results" coalition of over 130 groups, from planned parenthood to Republicans for the rule of law, has organized around 500 protests across the country, according to its own information.
"There were two criteria: one, Trump officially tried to block the vote counting, and the other, he falsely declared he won, and he did both last night," said Adam Green, co-founder of Progressive (NYSE) 🙂 Change Campaign Committee, a group that supports leftist Democrats running for office.
The fear of violence on Tuesday did not materialize when it was discovered that Americans voted a million times. Few incidents were reported on an otherwise quiet election day.
Concerns about possible unrest heightened after a summer of protests, some of which turned violent, against racial injustices after police killed George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.
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