When asked how US President Donald Trump would react to defeat, activists are planning demos and campaigns to stand up to Trump.
Elections will be held in the USA on November 3rd.
Joe Biden challenges Donald Trump in the struggle for president.
Thousands of Trump opponents are already preparing for the election with simulation games.
BuzzFeedNews USA took a detailed look at the state of activity prior to the election.
Before the 2020 US election, BuzzFeed News Germany and the
Ippen-Digital network are
using BuzzFeed research to provide insights into the situation in the United States - the text is now exclusively available in translation.
On a day late last month, longtime
activist George Lakey
people how to peacefully resist a coup.
But this time he's not in Moscow or Bangkok or one of the many other distant places he has traveled in his 70-year career as a sociologist and writer who advocates democracy and non-violent forms of protest.
He's in the
, at his home in suburban Philadelphia.
At the other end of Lakey's Zoom webinar, there are around
1,000 American voters
- 500 more,
, than the week before - from across the country, sticking to their screens, carefully taking notes.
President Donald Trump
has spent the past few months
doubts about the integrity of
and urging his supporters "to go to the polling stations and look very carefully," dozens of mostly progressive lobby groups have worked hard on it, average
Organizing and training
in what to do when their
seems to fall apart before their eyes
The Election should end on November 3rd., Not weeks later!
- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2020
a few weeks ago that he would not commit to a peaceful transfer of power, I decided I had to," said Lisa Graustein, a 45-year-old former teacher at a Boston public school, about her decision to sacrifice two hours of their day to receive training on the specifics of
, peaceful sit-ins, and public pressure on elected
Graustein, who now runs a food distribution center, says she has only "semi-actively" participated in local
and activist initiatives
in the past
But that was far from the questions that Lakey raises in the training, such as:
Are you a person who asserts himself against authority and is a voice for others?
Or to hear Lakey reassure the group that
fall when the masses rise and that non-violent resistance - as in Argentina in 1987 and in the Soviet Union in 1991 - could be used
a possible rise to power by
US election 2020: Trump vs.
Biden - Even previously not politically active people participate
But Graustein explains that she and all of her friends and work colleagues are
“People who were
are now active,” she says.
And so she signed up when someone from her Quaker community told her about the training. The idea behind this effort is to
"actually help prevent"
, explains Eileen Flanagan, who is moderating the training with Lakey.
The training was organized by
, DC-based group that describes itself as a "team of organizers, activists, educators, academics, and concerned citizens" "preparing for the 2020 coup scenario" .
has so far held three training events with a steadily growing number of participants;
The first training this month had more than 1,500 participants, and more than 3,500 have attended all of them so far, according to Flanagan, a member of the Political Action Committee.
The events have grown so popular that the group organized six more this month, including two specially designed for trainers to learn how to coach more people in their communities.
Donald Trump, President of the United States, speaks at a campaign rally.
© Evan Vucci / dpa
Another participant, a West Coast-based health
that she had never attended a training course like Lakey before this election.
But this year she felt the need to take action.
When she heard Lakey explain the attempted
seizure of power
and political situations full of dangers in the history of other countries, “this point of view really became clear to her: 'Wow, we are really about to cross a Rubicon,' said the
on condition of anonymity as she was not authorized to speak to the media by her employer.
US election 2020: Trump opponents are preparing for the election with simulation games
near the only ones preparing for what many
opponents believe would be a doomed scenario for
The preparations include
and the planning of street protests and by obtaining commitments from
only then to accept the results, when every vote is counted.
Some groups use
political and electoral experts
to run simulation games.
Erica Chenoweth, an
American political scientist
and professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School, tells
that preparations for a potential
are unprecedented in
“First of all, there is sincere talk about trying
And the conversations about it are of a seriousness that we've never seen in this country before, ”she says.
"Second, there is a real national infrastructure to coordinate effective people's power and
to thwart a takeover in elections that is completely new
This infrastructure is being built with initiatives like
and many others.
Another initiative is Protect the Results, launched by Stand Up
and Indivisible, two progressive groups formed after 2016
Protect the Results is a coalition of more than 100 non-partisan initiatives with millions of members across the country.
It is also preparing for the event that
declares victory prematurely;
the initiative will respond nationally with
in all 50 states to demand that every single vote be counted before a winner is determined.
US election: will Trump accept the election results?
Otherwise, you need to act quickly
"We believe that in any scenario where
* might refuse to give in or challenge the results, it is incredibly important that
react quickly and that there is a plan to mobilize the people," said Sean Eldridge, Founder and President of Stand Up
“We have already seen
and calling for foreign interference in the elections.
He is behind in the polls and desperate.
Obviously, he is ready
through harassment and deception.
“So we are signaling to our community members that the most important thing they can do is
plan and cast their vote early - but that the work may not be finished on
and that we need to be ready to do that too To protect results,
seek corrupt pressure on
or undermine the results. "
USA election 2020: In the past few weeks, Trump repeatedly sowed doubts about the reliability of the election results.
© Ross D. Franklin / AP / dpa / Picture Alliance
The coalition includes members of the Black Lives Matter movement and initiatives such as Women's March, who have experience in mobilizing large groups of people in several states.
This week, Protect the Results released a card that
use to join a protest rally near them - should it be necessary to take to the streets to demonstrate resistance to what the government is doing.
As of last Friday, more than 160 protests are planned for November 4th on the map, from Boston to Portland, Oregon and everywhere in between.
Many of the groups have started protesting after a non-partisan group of more than 100 current and former leaders in government, political campaigns and other experts organized the Transition Integrity Project in June.
In this project, various simulation games were carried out on scenarios in which the
presidential elections are
The results show that having an overwhelming protest presence on the streets "can be a decisive factor," the project website says.
2020 US election: Volunteers keep an eye on disinformation, election barriers and other issues
The groups are also preparing for
itself. The impartial grassroots group Common Cause appoints "
", whom they describe as "voters' first line of defense against restrictive election laws, coronavirus-related
and anything else that could suppress their votes" .
Sylvia Albert, director of
and voting at Common Cause, tells
that the volunteers
will be watching
the election from outside the
Others will respond to
on the internet by answering calls to a hotline set up to receive reports of
, which can range from lack of access for wheelchairs to illegal campaigns in
In 2016 and 2018 the group numbered around 6,500 volunteers;
this year the number has grown exponentially to more than 36,000.
We need your help as we recruit nonpartisan #ElectionProtection volunteers to serve as:
😷In person, socially distant poll monitors
🚗Roving poll monitors from a car or bike
👩💻Social media monitors to track disinformation
📲Text or phone bankers
Sign up @ https : //t.co/cDS4FeCjeu
- Sylvia Albert (@TheSylviaAlbert) October 13, 2020
Albert says thousands of unarmed volunteers outside
are trained to deal with situations in which they face intimidation or violence, although she believes such things are unlikely to happen.
One such new
polling station observer
is Jessica Mann, a 44-year-old social worker in Austin, Texas.
on October 13, she has been observing activities outside various polling stations in three-hour shifts.
She is a first-time volunteer and says she was motivated to take action after
* encourage his supporters
to come to
and look for "scams," raising fears about the Intimidation of
“I wanted to be there if his observers show up,” said Mann.
So far, she has not seen any
nor has she been
According to Texas State Election Act, a man can only monitor a polling station from outside of a 100-foot radius.
have similar laws).
But she senses that people are more nervous than usual. “It's a tense time and it's an emotional time,” she says.
US election 2020: Trump vs.
Biden - Ministry of Homeland Security warns of political violence on election day
worry about the likelihood of tense, and possibly even violent, confrontations this year.
This is due to the challenges posed by the
, the tensions in connection with nationwide protests against the brutality of the police and, not least, in
recent call to the violent and
male group of
to "stand back and stand by" which has resulted in the encouragement of far-right militant groups.
A threat assessment released this month by the Department of Homeland Security shows that the agency also warns of the potential for
in and around the ballot box, particularly by extremists.
“Publicly accessible parts of the physical
in the open air, such as
mass gatherings, polling stations and
voter registration events
, are the most likely hotspots for potential violence, ”it said.
The Justice Department says it is planning to station officials in a command center at FBI Headquarters, the federal response to any Unruhunen in the
to coordinate *, reported
, citing officials familiar with the matter.
Rumors of a
not only come from the progressive political wing.
, the Conservatives, who
, have claimed that the anti-coup preparations of the predominantly left-wing groups are in fact the basis for a
New York Times
reports that the ill-founded claim quickly spread on social media after right-wing commentators began spreading disinformation about a
According to analysis by the
New York Times
, this was mentioned "in at least 938 Facebook groups, 279 Facebook pages, 33 YouTube videos and hundreds of tweets".
US election day will be chaotic - unless Biden wins a clear victory - will Trump accept defeat?
Given the heightened rhetoric and finger pointing, experts say we are likely to face a hot
and a chaotic post-
"With the exception of the 'Big
* win' scenario, every one of our simulation games has come to the brink of disaster, with massive
, violence on the streets and a constitutional impasse," writes Rosa Brooks, law professor at Georgetown University and co-founder of Transition Integrity Project, in the
about the simulation games she ran with colleagues.
“In two scenarios ('
Victory' and 'Expanded Uncertainty') there is
still no agreement on the winner and no consensus on which
* should be assumed to have the ability to
do so by
Military to issue binding orders or obtain nuclear codes.
If Joe Biden is not far ahead, Donald Trump could claim the result was fake ..
© Carolyn Kaster / AP / dpa
"In the 'Knapper
to leave his office and is eventually escorted out by the secret service - but only after he has pardoned himself and his family and burned incriminating documents.
Lakey says he's not sure
try to stay in power regardless of the outcome of the election.
* has previously threatened to use the military to quell the unrest and he is now increasingly signaling that he
if they are not in his favor.
With this in mind, Lakey emphasizes the importance of being prepared. “It's like taking out fire insurance,” he explains.
“You hope your house doesn't catch fire, but you want to be insured should the worst happen.”
* Merkur.de is part of the nationwide Ippen-Digital editorial network.