Expect to see more boarded-up windows in big cities.
The wooden panels have become a regular site in Washington, New York City, and elsewhere ahead of election results coming in Tuesday night, particularly the marquee contest between President Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden.
Anti-Trump organizations have sent alerts to their followers over the past few days promoting massive protests regardless of who wins or loses the White House.
Cities and urban businesses around the country are bracing themselves for what is expected to be a raucous night on Tuesday, fearing that Trump wins a second term. If that’s the case, anti-Trump activist groups are expected to lash out violently against law enforcement and destroy private property, similar to Inauguration Day in 2017.
The New York City Police Department circulated a memo warning, “This November 3rd will be the one of the most highly contested presidential elections in the modern era. There is also a strong likelihood that the winner of the presidential election may not be decided for several weeks.” The memo added, “Accordingly, we should anticipate and prepare for protests growing in size, frequency, and intensity leading up to the election and likely into the year 2021.”
In Portland, city leaders are coordinating with local law enforcement agencies and Oregon’s State Police.
Protesters said that if Trump loses, their focus will be on pressuring him to depart the White House when his term ends on Jan. 20, 2021.
“We need to prepare for the momentous struggle if Trump cries the election is a fraud, attempts to shut down counting the votes or in other ways nullify the election,” a Refuse Fascism email says.
Protest organizations, including ShutDownDC and Refuse Fascism, have been training their supporters for several weeks in preparation for election night, and for the likely days or weeks thereafter, they will be active in the streets.
ShutDownDC expects “thousands” of demonstrators to participate in an eight-hour event on D.C.’s Black Lives Matter Plaza, starting at 4 p.m. on Election Day, complete with a Jumbotron announcing election returns, DJs, and musical performances.
Organizations reportedly hosting the event are 350 DC, Arm in Arm DC, Beautiful Trouble, Black Lives Matter DC, CASA In Action, Continue to Serve, Democratic Socialists of America DMV, Extinction Rebellion DC, Long Live GoGo, the Palm Collective, Rising Tide North America, SPACEs in Action, and Sunrise Movement DC.
“We can’t anticipate exactly how Trump and his enablers will try to attack democracy (although we have been gaming out a number of different scenarios), but we know that the stakes are too high to sit on the sidelines and wait. That’s why we’re making plans to be in the streets before the polls even close, ready to adapt and respond to whatever comes our way,” ShutDownDC’s website says.
Telling its members that Trump is already stealing the vote, Refuse Fascism, a network of anti-Trump protest groups based in several large metropolitan regions, plan to gather in places such as Los Angeles’s Pershing Square on Election Day.
Organization chapters also plan to protest on the preceding days in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Seattle.