US News "There is a lot of tension": Washington barricades itself as the presidential election approaches

15:05  02 november  2020
15:05  02 november  2020 Source:   francetvinfo.fr

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Businesses and offices around the White House are hiding behind planks in anticipation of possible violent demonstrations in the wake of the election on Tuesday.

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For a few days the screwdrivers and saws have been out in the streets surrounding the White House in Washington. Regardless of the winner of the November 3 presidential election, the neighborhood is getting ready to see the disappointed take to the streets. David stares high planks on the windows of an office building: "We are trying to protect all the exterior facades well because there are going to be demonstrations. We started on Friday and we have really a lot of work." On the eve of the ballot, almost all businesses, hotels and district administrations are barricaded behind wooden plaques. It is dark now in Deban's restaurant: "I wouldn't say that we are afraid but we take our precautions just in case. In May during demonstrations of the Black Lives Matter movement, we were looted. Our door was broken, people came in and took bottles. So we're trying not to lose any more money. "

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Looks like an entrenched camp

As the neighborhood was emptied by the health crisis, it now looks like an entrenched camp. Already, a waitress in a coffe-shop, no longer feels comfortable there: "I'm a little nervous. I don't really feel safe. Of course, we're starting to get used to demonstrations, but with the election, it's more worrying. "

Trump declined to say if he would step down if defeated, I'm afraid that could really happen.

Deja, waitress in Washington

Deja would prefer not to come to work Tuesday and Wednesday. An apprehension that does not surprise Ilgin, a student at a table in the same coffe-shop. “It says a lot about where the United States is at, people are really divided,” she explains. “And everyone expects a backlash regardless of who wins. If it's Trump, the Liberals will be disappointed. If it's Biden, who knows what's going to happen. There's a lot of tension. "

A few days before the election, Washington barricades itself for fear of violence

 A few days before the election, Washington barricades itself for fear of violence © Supplied by Le Point The sounds of hammers, drills and jigsaws, this is the soundtrack of the American capital a few days before the 'presidential election. Over the weekend, an overwhelming number of downtown Washington stores were protecting their windows with wooden planks, for fear of protests that would escalate on Election Day or thereafter. Teams of workers took turns at every street corner around the office buildings of "Downtown D.C.", a sign of the nervousness that reigns across the

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U.S. presidential election mechanism when no-one wins an electoral college majority. In the United States, a contingent election is the procedure used to elect the President or Vice President in The phrase "contingent election " is not found in the text of the Constitution itself , but has been used to

Several rallies planned

Washington police have already warned that some streets may be closed. The anti-Trump organization


has scheduled several rallies in the coming days. “If Trump were to be re-elected, we would do our best to disrupt the system that supports him,” explains Jen Nikodem, one of the organization's coordinators. It could be the Department of Justice, the Senate, the Supreme Court. be annoying, noisy, but not beyond. We also train our activists in de-escalation techniques. " Last week the Democratic mayor of Washington said she did not have "specific information" on any indications of trouble while saying she was ready to "ensure the safety of the city".

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