Hundreds of people were arrested in Minneapolis and New York City Wednesday night at protests against President Donald Trump's attempts to steal the ongoing 2020 presidential election, part of the nationwide "Count Every Vote" campaign.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety said Thursday that state troopers and Minneapolis police arrested 646 people beginning after 7:45 pm after they flooded Interstate 94, where, according to the Star-Tribune, they marched against the president's threats to contest the results of the undecided election, as well against police brutality and endless U.S. wars, and for racial justice, climate action, and other progressive causes.
A protest is starting now in Cedar-Riverside, Minneapolis. It was organized by anti-war, immigrant rights, and racial justice groups with dual messages for either election result: “Fight Trump and everything he stands for” and “A Biden win will not give the freedom we demand.” pic.twitter.com/KK0dutJ7fQ— Tony Webster (@webster) November 5, 2020
Live streams from I-94 show officers encircling dozens of well-known social justice activists, like @nvlevy, Monique Cullars-Doty, aunt of Marcus Golden, and Noah McCourt. Everyone on the freeway is expected to be arrested, including at least 6 journalists covering the protest. https://t.co/dTA8Pg8Dus— Liz Sawyer (@ByLizSawyer) November 5, 2020
"We have a racist in office. Which side are you on?" Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights attorney and racial justice activist, asked the crowd before it made its way onto the freeway. "Do you stand on the side of oppression or the side of justice? I'm tired of relatives of people killed by police coming to these rallies."
The protest—which was organized by the Twin Cities for Justice 4 Jamar Coalition in coordination with the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Regression—began in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood before making its way through downtown, where it merged with another demonstration endorsed by a disparate coalition of around 30 organizations, including supporters of Black Lives Matter.
Police in Minneapolis have kettled upwards of a thousand people on the freeway, and have begun making arrests of trapped protesters. They’ve stated that everyone attending the protest is under arrest for unlawful assembly and public nuisance.https://t.co/fCBlqh6gaO— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) November 5, 2020
State and local law enforcement, including officers on horseback, "kettled"—or surrounded and systematically arrested—the demonstrators for "suspicion of tresspassing and unlawful assembly," according to the Star-Tribune, which reported a "festive" atmosphere among the detained demonstrators as they awaited processing. No injuries or police brutality were reported.
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Meanwhile, there is a dance party happening on I-94 as people wait to be detained pic.twitter.com/n77jFSYxyA— Leila Navidi (@LeilaNavidi) November 5, 2020
At about the same time as the arrests began in Minneapolis, police in New York City moved against a group of hundreds of protesters who had convened earlier for a demonstration demanding elections officials "Count Every Vote."
The protesters gathered outside the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan before marching to Washington Square Park. At around 8:30 pm New York Police Department officers dressed in riot gear began kettling and arresting scores of protesters in the West Village. The New York Times reports at least 58 people were apprehended.
A second confrontation between police and protesters occurred around 9:30 pm near Union Square Park after NYPD officers on bicycles attempted to break up a demonstration. Witnesses said officers forcefully arrested several protesters.
A big crowd has gathered outside the New York Public Library on 5th Avenue in Manhattan to demand that every vote cast in the 2020 presidential election be counted. pic.twitter.com/EE7bDPNwIg— Liam Stack (@liamstack) November 4, 2020
Police begin to mass arrest kettled group at 5th and 8th St.— NYC Protest Updates 2020 (@protest_nyc) November 5, 2020
Protestors, packed like sardines, are beaten and arrested while onlooking officers laugh. pic.twitter.com/TCwVzFiRed
One New York protester has received international attention after she resisted being trapped against a wall during a kettling blitz by calling an NYPD officer a "fascist" and spitting in his face. Devina Singh of Schwenksville, Pennsylvania was violently arrested and charged with obstruction of governmental administration and harrassment.