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U.S. election: Progressive groups are mobilizing to de-escalate far right violence at the polls

Progressive Groups Are Mobilizing to De-Escalate Far Right Violence at the Polls, Ella Fassler, Truthout, October 1, 2020   In preparation for potential voter intimidation this year, the Women’s March, Working Families Party, Movement for Black Lives Electoral Justice Project, United We Dream and other organizations are mobilizing “election defenders” to de-escalate tense situations as well as provide voters with personal protective equipment and water on Election Day.

“So far, more than 6,000 people across the country have signed up to be election defenders,” Working Families Party National Director Maurice Mitchell told Truthout. “Trump is operating from a place of weakness, not strength, and the single best way to avoid a contested election is for voters to repudiate him at the polls by an overwhelming margin.

Mobilization efforts are likely to ramp up following Trump’s call-to-action during the first presidential debate on Tuesday. “I’m urging my supporters to go in to the polls and watch very carefully, because that’s what has to happen,” he said at the debate. “I am urging them to do it.” In addition Trump told the far right paramilitary group the Proud Boys, who have said on tape “Hitler did nothing wrong,” to “stand back and stand by.”

Already, roughly 20 Trump supporters had descended on a polling booth in Fairfax, Virginia, intimidating early voters and election staff.   The demonstrators gathered from a “Trump Train” parade, according to The New York Times; some chanting “Four more years, four more years!” and holding Trump flags, while others drove circles around the voters. Election officials provided escorts for voters and moved the line indoors……..

 contributor Mark Bray, an author and historian of human rights, terrorism and fascist movements, says we can’t treat this election as any other. Bray tweeted: “Trump has articulated his plan to mobilize fascists for voter intimidation, reject the outcome of the election, and hold on to power (while not denouncing white supremacy). If he and his followers won’t recognize the vote, then ‘just vote’ is a woefully insufficient response.”

There’s a strong precedent for statements like Trump’s, which sow deep distrust in the electoral process……….

Whether Trump’s supporters will disrupt polls on a wide scale this time around remains to be seen. But, from Trump’s “joking” about holding power beyond his term limit, to enfeebling the integrity of mail-in ballots without evidence, it’s clear that voter intimidation may be the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come.

October 3, 2020 - Posted by | election USA 2020

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