WASHINGTON – Two days after Election Day, protests across the United States are scattered, happening in places from Portland, Oregon and Seattle to Washington, D.C. There have also been some intense moments at some ballot-counting locations in Arizona and Michigan.
In New York, hundreds of people paraded past boarded-up luxury stores on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, and in Chicago, demonstrators marched through downtown and along a street across the river from Trump Tower. Similar protests — sometimes about the election, sometimes about racial inequality — took place in at least a half-dozen cities, including Los Angeles, Houston, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis and San Diego.
In Portland, demonstrators engaged in what authorities said was widespread violence downtown. Those protesters were demonstrating about a range of issues, including police brutality and the counting of the vote.
Here, Elizabeth Kennedy, deputy Washington bureau chief for The Associated Press, who is leading coverage of election-related protests, breaks down what AP journalists across the United States have been encountering.
WHAT ARE YOU SEEING ACROSS THE COUNTRY?
There have been arrests, there have been marches, there’s some relatively minor property damage. But really it’s like spirits are high — and tensions are high. The country is in a very tense moment, not just because of the election but because of 2020. We have been in this place of racial tensions, the coronavirus, politics. This election is sort of pushing every American sore point.
ARE THE PROTESTS AT THE LEVEL THAT WAS EXPECTED?
It’s still early days. We have no winner. There was no widespread violence at the polls or in the immediate aftermath. There were scattered flareups, but nothing that looked organized across the country at all.
WHERE DO YOU SEE THIS GOING?
As the days go by, things are getting a little more heated. We're hearing people take up (Donald) Trump's message of “stop the count” and also people echoing the other side — “count every vote.” It remains to be seen if a spark ignites these tensions. So far, that has not happened in any widespread way. But it's clear that the country's extremely divided, which the election is sort of bearing out.