PHILADELPHIA — Top Trump campaign officials were chased out of center city Philadelphia by protesters on Wednesday as they tried to declare victory in Pennsylvania with 1 million ballots yet to be counted.
“How many votes do you have to be ahead for a Republican to win here?” said Trump attorney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, adding: “Do you think we’re stupid, do they think we’re fools?”
Earlier Wednesday afternoon, Trump’s campaign filed a lawsuit to stop the counting of ballots in Pennsylvania. The campaign also attempted to intervene in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent ballots sent by 8 p.m. on Election Day from being counted if they arrive at county offices by Friday at 5 p.m..
Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, said they’d be in Philadelphia until the conclusion of the count.
But it seems the residents of heavily Democratic Philadelphia weren’t happy with their presence in the City of Brotherly Love.
The press conference was originally scheduled for 3:30 p.m.. Protesters started gathering around the Pennsylvania Convention Center and City Hall at 3 p.m.
“I’m here because Donald Trump is stealing the election and a coup is underway. Theorocracy is never legitimate. White supremacy is never legitimate. People have to get on the streets to push the Trump regime out,” Emma Kaplan, 30, with @RefuseFascism. pic.twitter.com/6xBBWHhBuF
— churail™️ (@rjaaaaaaaaaaa) November 4, 2020
Members of the Philadelphia chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, Seed the Vote, Refuse Fascism, the Socialists Alternative, and other local and national organizations congregated at John F. Kennedy Blvd. for the “Count Every Vote” protest.
At City Hall, they held posters saying “Black Lives Matter,” “Stop Trump Stealing the Election,” and “Count Every Vote.” That’s just blocks away from the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where ballots are currently being counted.
“Theocracy is never legitimate. White Supremacy is never legitimate,” said Emma Kaplan, 30, from the national Refuse Fascism chapter. “People have to get on the streets to push the Trump regime out.”
“If we don’t get it, shut it down,” protesters along Broad Streets chanted right outside City Hall. Law enforcement was also present, including several city police officers, helicopters and National Guard soldiers.
“We are out here to build mass pressure because that’s what they respond to,” Greyson Van Arsdal, with Socialist Alternative, said. “This isn’t a Biden support rally. It’s a travesty that the best two candidates the system could come up with are Trump and Biden.”
Their presence seemed to shake the Trump team, who moved their conference to a hanger at the Philadelphia airport.
Similar protests to Philadelphia’s were also planned throughout the state. In Pittsburgh, people started congregating outside the City-County Building around 4 p.m..
I’m Downtown at the City-County building where a rally is getting underway. Folks here are demanding every ballot is counted as all eyes are fixed on Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes. The Trump campaign says it’s suing to stop the vote count in Pennsylvania. @905wesa pic.twitter.com/P3cxTdxFrt
— Kiley Koscinski (@kileykoscinski) November 4, 2020
In Harrisburg, protesters began assembling on the state Capitol steps around 5 p.m.. About 75 were in attendance from numerous unions and local activists groups. They chanted and sang as the sun set, demanding that every vote be counted.
The crowd sings along with "This Land is Your Land." pic.twitter.com/G1dxRAPrCu
— Stephen Caruso (@StephenJ_Caruso) November 4, 2020
Kadida Kenner, director of We The People PA, a progressive activist group, said there were at least a dozen similar events planned around the state.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there are just more than one million ballots left to count in Pennsylvania, according to Department of State data.
Rjaa Ahmed is a Hearken Election SOS Fellow helping the Capital-Star cover the 2020 presidential election. Follow her on Twitter @rjaaaaaaaaaaa.