WASHINGTON – Scattered protests took place from Washington, DC to Washington state as the votes were counted, but there were no signs of widespread unrest or violence linked to the U.S. election.
The outcome of the bitter fight for the presidency remained undecided on Wednesday, raising concerns that prolonged uncertainty could still spark conflict.
But protests overnight and Wednesday in cities like Seattle, Philadelphia, Washington and New York remained largely peaceful.
In Washington, more than 1,000 people protesting against President Donald Trump converged on Black Lives Matter Plaza on Tuesday evening, just one block from the White House, as hundreds more marched downtown , sometimes blocking traffic and setting off fireworks.
The demonstrators shouted “Whose streets are? Our streets! and “If we don’t get justice, they don’t get peace!”
Groups of teenagers danced in the streets to the applause of spectators. Large banners, including one that read “Trump lies all the time”, were displayed.
At one point, protesters stabbed the tires of a parked police van to flatten them.
In Philadelphia, about 200 protesters representing unions, groups fighting climate change and other causes, gathered near Independence Hall on Wednesday afternoon, saying they had come to protect democracy. The protest came shortly before Trump campaign officials announced they would take legal action to stop the vote count in Pennsylvania for what they saw as a lack of transparency.
“We want Biden to win, but we want every vote counted no matter what,” said one of the protesters, Corean Holloway, 69, of Philadelphia.
Hundreds of people marched Tuesday night during anti-Trump protests in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, and several were arrested.
“This is what democracy looks like,” chanted protesters in Portland, where organizers said the protest would be peaceful and regardless of the outcome of the presidential election, they would continue to demonstrate for racial justice. The sheriff’s office said some protesters openly carried guns.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown had put the National Guard on hold, as Portland has seen near-night protests since George Floyd died under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer in May.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said on Twitter that there would be “no tolerance for any violence, intimidation or criminal destruction” and people should be “safe while using their voices to defend their point. seen”.
In Seattle, police said they arrested several people, including one who drove nails into a road and another who walked through a barricade and entered a police cycle lane. No one was hurt.
Hundreds of businesses in cities across the United States closed their doors and windows ahead of the election, fearing the vote would lead to the type of violence that erupted after Floyd’s death.
“Some people want to wreak havoc and trouble,” Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said earlier today. She said she had never seen so many businesses barricaded: “All of this saddens me.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.