A coalition of labor unions and advocacy groups -- which could include thousands of participants -- plan to hold a protest Saturday in downtown Los Angeles against President Donald Trump's premature election victory declaration.
The coalition said that now that Trump has also claimed the election is being “stolen'' from him, the protest will be to prevent any attempt to “undermine the will of the people'' and they will demand a peaceful transition of power -- should the president not win reelection.
Several marches and rallies were planned to culminate at Pershing Square, according to the coalition. Participants said they will meet at 9 a.m. at South Figueroa Street at Martin Luther King Boulevard; at Mariachi Plaza, at Boyle and First streets; and at MacArthur Park, at 2230 W. Sixth St.
From 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., the scattered marches will then make their way to Pershing Square to create a “mass march'' at 11:30 a.m. and march to a rally scheduled for noon at City Hall.
Organizers said participants are required to remain nonviolent and all attendees are required to wear a mask and follow local COVID-19 public health orders and social distancing guidelines. The event will commence rain or shine, the organizers said.
As of noon Friday, former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden appeared to be headed to victory, as he had 253 of the electoral college votes (according to most media outlets, including CNN and NBC) and had taken leads in Pennsylvania and Georgia, while remaining ahead in Nevada and Arizona, states still too close to call.
Trump on Wednesday said that he was being cheated out of the presidential race.
“This is a fraud on the American public,'' Trump announced during a media briefing from the White House. “This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election.''
The coalition members said they will “lead a mass action with basic principles that should have long been our standard for all economic and social policy: we care for ourselves, we care for others and everyone counts,'' according to an email. “It is time ... to stand united, not only to defend but strengthen our democracy by advancing justice and inclusion.''
The coalition includes organizations and groups such as Black Lives Matter-LA, the California Faculty Association, CHIRLA, Community Coalition, Democratic Socialists of America-LA, Extinction Rebellion, Ground Game LA and a number of other coalitions and labor unions.
Los Angeles Police Department Officer Drake Madison told City News Service that officers will take the same action they always do during protests, which is to “hope for the best, but plan for the worst.''
“Most importantly, we're there to (let people) express their First Amendment rights, and hopefully L.A. residents will protest peacefully,'' Madison said.
On Thursday, the LAPD on social media posted a picture of a hammer and a crowbar that were recovered from recent protests.
“We'd expect to find these items on a construction site, or in a garage, not on the streets of Los Angeles following protest activities,'' LAPD stated on Twitter. “We will always strive to facilitate peaceful protests, but that means those participating must leave metal crowbars and hammers at home.''
According to an event post on Facebook, more than 1,000 people had responded by Friday afternoon as interested or going to the protest.