Pro-Trump demonstrators, some armed, rally around US following Biden victory projection
Rallies come as president has refused to concede race and pledged legal challenges
Pro-Trump demonstrators, some of them armed, rallied in state capitals around the country Saturday after projections indicated that former Vice President Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election.
The rallies come as President Trump refused to concede the race and pledged legal challenges in a number of swing states over allegations of mail-in voter fraud. Some demonstrations were branded “Stop the Steal” events, where activists protested what they believe may be potential signs of voter fraud. Facebook banned a "Stop the Steal" group earlier in the day due to posts that contained calls for violence.
In Salem, Ore., and Lansing, Mich., videos shared to Twitter showed tense standoffs, shoving and shouting.
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Police outside the Oregon State Capitol in Salem stepped in between fired up groups of pro-Trump and left-wing demonstrators, videos show. Other photographs show men standing in a quieter area of the Capitol grounds holding long guns.
Video from Lansing, Mich., showed police trying to calm down a group of armed people, some carrying pro-Trump clothing and banners, as they chant “Commies go home” toward people out of the frame.
Another clip showed a brief tussle between clashing groups on a sidewalk, although the crowds stepped in to pull fighting individuals apart.
Armed men also were photographed outside the Minnesota governor’s residence Saturday afternoon – although Gov. Tim Walz appears to have been out of town. Around 3 p.m. he tweeted a selfie with his daughter saying they had just finished a 5-mile run alongside Lake Superior, which is about 150 miles north of St. Paul.
Armed men were photographed outside the state capitols of Arizona and Pennsylvania as well. And another large group of Trump supporters rallied outside the Capitol building in Santa Fe, N.M.
Trump claimed he “won the election” on Twitter early Saturday evening – arguing that “bad things happened which our observers were not allowed to see."
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A number of election-related lawsuits from the Trump campaign and Republican groups are expected to proceed Monday.