Oct 31, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Cities board up, activists mobilize ahead of Election Day

Workers board up Walgreens on U Street NW in D.C. yesterday.
Workers board up Walgreens on U Street NW in D.C. yesterday. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Ahead of Election Day, activists in the nation's capital are training demonstrators, forming rapid-reaction teams and organizing events that are expected to draw large crowds, AP's Ashraf Khalil reports.

The state of play: Multiple groups led by Black Lives Matter and Shutdown DC are planning an eight-hour event at Black Lives Matter Plaza, one block from the White House. It will include a giant screen showing election results, DJs and performances by bands playing go-go music.

Hope Neyer, an organizer for Shutdown DC, said her group was rehearsing "election meltdown simulations" that include indefinitely occupying certain public spaces and rushing to intervene in attempts to intimidate voters at polling places or seize ballots.

The big picture: Cities across the U.S. are bracing for election-related unrest.

  • Nov. 3 could kick off "weeks of sustained street actions, depending on how the vote count goes and how President Donald Trump acts after his repeated refusals to say whether he will accept the results," AP writes.
  • "Manhattan business owners including Chanel and Levi’s boarded up their storefronts ... as the NYPD warned of potential unrest," the New York Post writes.
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