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2020 US election: will Trump accept the result? Thousands prepare for a coup


When asked how US President Donald Trump would react to defeat, activists are planning demos and campaigns to stand up to Trump.

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

once again


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

United States

, at his home in suburban Philadelphia.

At the other end of Lakey's Zoom webinar, there are around

1,000 American voters

- 500 more,

mind you

, 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



electoral process

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


Trump announced

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

mass demonstrations

, 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

to thwart

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

concerned about




“People who were

n't active

in previous


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"

a potential


, explains Eileen Flanagan, who is moderating the training with Lakey.

The training was organized by

Choose Democracy

, a


, DC-based group that describes itself as a "team of organizers, activists, educators, academics, and concerned citizens" "preparing for the 2020 coup scenario" .

Choose Democracy

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

union organizer

, told

BuzzFeed News

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

union organizer




BuzzFeed News

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

Choose Democracy





near the only ones preparing for what many


opponents believe would be a doomed scenario for



The preparations include

awareness campaigns

for the


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

BuzzFeed News

that preparations for a potential

coup d'état

are unprecedented in




“First of all, there is sincere talk about trying

to prevent




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


American politics


This infrastructure is being built with initiatives like

Choose Democracy

and many others.

Another initiative is Protect the Results, launched by Stand Up


and Indivisible, two progressive groups formed after 2016

to fight


Trump administration's



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

street protests

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


, on

BuzzFeed News


“We have already seen




electoral fraud

and calling for foreign interference in the elections.

He is behind in the polls and desperate.

Obviously, he is ready

to win



through harassment and deception.

“So we are signaling to our community members that the most important thing they can do is

create a


plan and cast their vote early - but that the work may not be finished on

election day

and that we need to be ready to do that too To protect results,



seek corrupt pressure on

election officials

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

Americans can

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

election day

itself. The impartial grassroots group Common Cause appoints "

election protection


", whom they describe as "voters' first line of defense against restrictive election laws, coronavirus-related

election interruptions

and anything else that could suppress their votes" .

Sylvia Albert, director of


and voting at Common Cause, tells

BuzzFeed News

that the volunteers

will be watching

the election from outside the

polling station


Others will respond to


on the internet by answering calls to a hotline set up to receive reports of

electoral problems

, which can range from lack of access for wheelchairs to illegal campaigns in

polling stations

to outright




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 : //

- Sylvia Albert (@TheSylviaAlbert) October 13, 2020

Albert says thousands of unarmed volunteers outside

polling stations

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.

Since early

voting began

in the


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

hearing Trump

* encourage his supporters

to come to

polling stations

and look for "scams," raising fears about the Intimidation of

voters were


“I wanted to be there if his observers show up,” said Mann.

So far, she has not seen any


* supporters



nor has she been

intimidated herself.

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


election experts

worry about the likelihood of tense, and possibly even violent, confrontations this year.

This is due to the challenges posed by the

coronavirus pandemic

, 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

Proud Boys

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

political violence

in and around the ballot box, particularly by extremists.

“Publicly accessible parts of the physical

electoral infrastructure

in the open air, such as


mass gatherings, polling stations and

voter registration events

, for


, 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

Washington Post

, citing officials familiar with the matter.

Rumors of a


not only come from the progressive political wing.


their part

, the Conservatives, who



, have claimed that the anti-coup preparations of the predominantly left-wing groups are in fact the basis for a

coup planned

by the




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

election day

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

disinformation campaigns

, 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

Washington Post,

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

Trump will

try to stay in power regardless of the outcome of the election.

But the


* has previously threatened to use the military to quell the unrest and he is now increasingly signaling that he

could challenge


election results

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.”

* is part of the nationwide Ippen-Digital editorial network.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2020-10-31

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