Right wing protesters mobilized in several hotspots across the country following Tuesday’s election, using intimidation tactics in an attempt to tip the scales for Trump.
In Detroit yesterday a crowd of right wingers stormed a vote counting center to demand that absentee ballots not be tabulated, chanting “Stop the count!” The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit to halt vote-counting and called on their supporters to go to the center as “poll challengers”. The racist character of the protests is clear considering Detroit is a city that is 79 percent African-American. On Nov 5. the Michigan Court of Claims denied the lawsuit, and counting is expected to continue for now.
Meanwhile in Arizona, where Trump is trailing but gradually closing the gap as more votes are reported, the right wing’s demand is the opposite. Hundreds of armed demonstrators gathered at the counting center in Maricopa County chanting “Count the votes!” Some vote center workers and media had to be escorted to their cars under threat from the protesters. Arizona is a stronghold of the white supremacist “militia movement”.
In Atlanta today, Trump supporters, including some armed conspiracists and militia members, descended on State Farm Arena. Atlanta is a majority Black city, and the clear aim of this mobilization is to intimidate those counting the mail-in ballots that could decide Georgia’s final election result.
As we stand up to racist voter disenfranchisement, it is also necessary to point out that these tactics carried out by the far right only have an opening to sway the outcome of the election because the results are extremely close. For over a year, the Democratic Party elite crowed that only Joe Biden was “electable” and could beat Trump. Biden spent 47 years in political office fraternizing with segregationists, championing racist mass incarceration, crafting the foundation of the PATRIOT Act, supporting imperialist wars and siding with corporations over workers. In the middle of a pandemic Biden pledged to veto Medicare for All, and as climate change-induced fires consumed more than 1 million acres in the country he stood by fracking.
The far right could have been isolated and pushed to the political margins by a program focused on guaranteeing basic social rights and promoting working class unity. It took a candidate as weak as Biden — whose main appeal is that he is not Trump — to give the right wing the opportunity to attempt to tip the scales with racist intimidation.