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Americans Prep for Possible Election Unrest

Americans Prep for Possible Election Unrest

Postby smix » Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:23 pm

Americans Prep for Possible Election Unrest

URL: https://www.newsmax.com/politics/electi ... /id/993527
Category: politicsNews
Published: Fri, 23 Oct 2020 16:22:37 EDT

Description: Americans are gearing up to face the possibility of unrest that could follow the presidential election. BuzzFeed News reports that voters are signing up for online training courses that outline how to act if there isn’t a peaceful transition of power and how to peacefully resist a coup Activist George Lakey told BuzzFeed a recent webinar he conducted drew over 1,000 voters. His training, which was organized by Washington D.C.-based Choose Democracy, covers mass demonstrations, peaceful sit-ins, and putting public pressure on elected officials. Eileen Flanagan, who serves as the moderator of Lakey’s training, told the outlet that the idea behind the class is to ''actually help prevent'' a coup. Choose Democracy has held three training sessions so far and they have all attracted thousands of participants, according to Flanagan. There are six more sessions planned for this month. Other groups are promoting voter education campaigns, planning street protests, and urging public officials to pledge to not accept the election results until every vote is counted. Protect the Results, which is a coalition made up of more than 100 bipartisan organizations composed of millions of members nationwide, told BuzzFeed it is preparing to handle a scenario where the president prematurely declares victory. The group plans to deploy street protests nationwide demanding every vote be counted before a winner is declared. Erica Chenoweth, a political scientist and professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, told BuzzFeed News that the planning for a potential coup is unprecedented in U.S. history. ''First, there’s genuine talk of trying to avoid a coup. And the talk about this is with a level of seriousness that I think we haven’t seen in the country before,'' she said. ''Second, there’s a genuine national infrastructure around coordinating effective people power and avoiding an election power grab that is totally novel in American politics.'' Groups like Common Cause, which is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization, is planning for Election Day. The group told BuzzFeed News it will have ''election protection volunteers,'' on hand to protect voters ''against restrictive election laws, coronavirus-related voting disruptions, or anything else that could silence their voices.'' Volunteers are trained to handle instances of voter intimidation and illegal campaigning inside polling stations. The Department of Homeland Security issued a threat assessment earlier this month that warned of the possibility of political violence at polling sites. ''Open-air, publicly accessible parts of physical election infrastructure, such as campaign-associated mass gatherings, polling places and voter registration events, would be the most likely flashpoints for potential violence,'' it said. Lakey likened his trainings to purchasing insurance. ''You hope your home won’t catch on fire, but you want to have it if the worst should happen,'' he said.
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