regular-article-logo Wednesday, 07 June 2023

Trump allies block traffic in New Jersey

As US raced towards Election Day, tensions and acrimony surrounding a divisive campaign are bleeding into everyday life

New York Times News Service New York, New Jersey Published 03.11.20, 01:40 AM


Vehicles with Trump flags halted traffic on Sunday on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey and jammed the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge between Tarrytown and Nyack, New York. Another pro-Trump convoy in Virginia ended in a tense shouting match with protesters as it approached a statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond.

In Georgia, a rally for Democrats was cancelled shortly before it was scheduled to begin on Sunday, with organisers worried about what they feared would be a “large militia presence” drawn by President Trump’s own event nearby.


As US raced towards Election Day, the tensions and acrimony surrounding an extraordinarily divisive campaign, coming on the heels of a summer of protests and racial unrest, are bleeding into everyday life and adding further uncertainty to an electoral process in which Trump has not committed to a peaceful transfer of power.

Sunday’s incidents came a day after a group of Trump supporters in Texas, driving trucks and waving Trump flags, surrounded and slowed a Biden-Harris campaign bus as it drove on Interstate 35, leading to the cancellation of two planned rallies.

The FBI confirmed on Sunday that it was investigating the incident.

On Saturday, President Trump tweeted a video of the incident with a message, “I love Texas!” After the FBI announced it was investigating, he tweeted again, saying, “In my opinion, these patriots did nothing wrong,” and instead “the FBI & Justice should be investigating the terrorists, anarchists, and agitators of ANTIFA”.

In Graham, North Carolina, a get-out-the vote rally on Saturday ended with police using pepper spray on some participants, including young children, and making numerous arrests. Organisers of the rally called it flagrant voter suppression.

“These people are afraid,” the Rev. Gregory B. Drumwright, his eyes still burning, said as he assailed the police action in Graham.

“There’s a climate of fear around this.”

And those were just the incidents that were caught on video. Kristen Clarke executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a voting rights group, said there had been many more.

“We are very concerned about groups lurking and trying to intimidate voters in particular communities,” Clarke said. Her group’s election protection hotline received calls from a dozen counties in Florida just in a week, she said.

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