Tag: unrest

Unrest in Avon? Trump’s message of law and order, loaded with racist undertones, takes aim at safety and security in Connecticut suburbs

In the eyes of President Donald Trump and some Republicans, electing the Democrats in 2020 would lead to a clear and frightening outcome: tranquil suburbs in Connecticut and elsewhere would be overrun by crime, violent protests, and social decay.

It’s an old message with a new twist, fueled by the backlash against Black Lives Matter protests and demonstrations this summer that were largely peaceful in Connecticut, but turned violent in Portland, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities.

Referring to the prospect of civil unrest, David X. Sullivan, a Republican candidate for the 5th Congressional District, told the Courant that he is “concerned about Avon, Farmington and Simsbury becoming as violent as Portland, New York and Chicago.”

Unrest in Avon?

Trump’s law and order message and its many versions may sound far-fetched to some. But there is a racist undertone to the rhetoric that has proven effective in the past, said Noel A. Cazenave, a professor of sociology at UConn. It reflects a long history of American politicians attempting to secure votes by playing up racial fears.

A Trump campaign video from July conjures up a world of defenseless suburbs under attack, showing a fictionalized scene of an elderly white woman watching a news segment about the defunding of the police as a shadowy intruder breaks into her house. She calls 9-1-1 but there is no dispatcher to pick up. The ad flashes a message: “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.”

Sullivan said he rejects any implication that there is a racial element to his campaign messaging, which he described as an effort to “promote safety, in our homes, in our workplaces.”

But Cazenave notes that fear-mongering in political campaigns has deep roots in America, from Richard Nixon’s “Law and Order” campaign in the late 1960s to George H. W. Bush’s late 1980s political ad centered on Willie Horton, a Black man incarcerated in Massachusetts who raped a white woman while released on furlough, meant to demonstrate his Democratic opponent’s weak stance on crime. Trump is exploiting those same themes this year, Cazenave said.

“Donald Trump’s appeal to European-American suburban women voters is intended to exploit fear that if Joe Biden is elected, low-income African Americans and African American protestors will invade their suburbs,” Cazenave said. He noted that the tactic is “an extension of the old racist trope of imperiled white women.”

Message resonating?

Many Trump supporters in the state say they find comfort in Trump’s promise of safety and were angered to see Connecticut law enforcement come under attack during Black Lives Matter protests this summer and through the recent police accountability bill signed by Gov. Ned Lamont.

In a Biden White House, Trump supporters say they fear the dismantling of constitutional liberties and a lax approach to public safety.

“We haven’t seen the Democrats come out and really put a squash on the increase in crime or the rioting out West and even though we haven’t seen it here, there is that fear that

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Kyrgyz parliament set to meet, discuss new government amid unrest

BISHKEK (Reuters) – Kyrgyzstan’s parliament was set to meet on Saturday and potentially vote in a new government to end a power vacuum in the strategically important Central Asian nation which has been gripped by unrest since a contested Oct. 4 election.

The former Soviet republic of 6.5 million hosts a Russian military airbase and serves as a hub for trade with neighbouring China. It is also home to a large Canadian-owned mining operation.

Military checkpoints were put up overnight around capital Bishkek and armoured personnel carriers were spotted in the city after President Sooronbai Jeenbekov ordered troops to deploy and re-establish order amid flare-ups of violence.

The parliament planned to gather in the presidential residence on the outskirts of Bishkek, after its own offices were ransacked by protesters who seized key government buildings on Tuesday.

Russia, which exerts significant influence on Kyrgyzstan, this week described the situation as “chaos”. More than 1,200 people have been injured and one person has been killed in street clashes since protests erupted on Monday.

It was unclear which candidates the legislature would consider for premiership, although deputy speaker Aida Kasymaliyeva urged MPs to reconsider the nomination of opposition politician Sadyr Zhaparov, saying that voting him in would only divide the country further.

Zhaparov’s supporters clashed with followers of a few other parties on Friday which nominated their own candidate, Omurbek Babanov. Several people were wounded including a politician nominated to serve as Babanov’s deputy.

The opposition is divided between 11 parties which represent clan interests in a country that has already seen two presidents toppled by popular revolts since 2005.

(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov and Olga Dzyubenko; editing by Richard Pullin)

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Law enforcement preps for potential election-related unrest

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal and state law enforcement officials have begun expanded preparations for the possibility of widespread unrest at the polls on Election Day, a response to extraordinarily high tensions among voters and anxieties about safety stoked in part by President Donald Trump.

FBI and local officials in several states have been conducting drills, running through worse-case scenarios, setting up command centers to improve coordination on reports of violence and voter intimidation, and issuing public warnings that any crime that threatens the sanctity of a Nov. 3 vote will not be tolerated.

The efforts are broader and more public-facing than in past years as fears grow over the potential for violent clashes in cities across the United States. Law enforcement officials say they are not responding to any specific threats or information but are preparing for a host of different scenarios that could play out.

Tensions are especially high given the increased political polarization and months of mass demonstrations against racial injustice that have seen violence by the left and right. Gun sales are way up. Six men were arrested after federal officials said they plotted to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, D-Mich., at her vacation home. Experts are concerned that right-wing extremists will be emboldened by Trump’s recent refusal to clearly denounce the Proud Boys, a neo-fascist group, and instead tell them to “stand back and stand by.”

Trump has spent months suggesting without evidence that the election could be rigged. His call to supporters to “go into the polls and watch very carefully” has election officials worried about that unofficial or self-appointed “monitors” could chaos and conflict at voting places.

An FBI official said the agency was considering the current climate of the country in its preparations to ensure safety at the polls, as well as working with other agencies to protect the voting system. The official would not discuss the plans publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.


Adding to the alarm is the fact this election will be the first in nearly 40 years in which the Republican National Committee isn’t barred from coordinated poll-monitoring activities. Democrats fear that could open the door to voter intimidation, the reason the courts have largely prohibited Republicans from poll monitoring since the early 1980s.

So far, experts who study extremism say they haven’t seen any open discussion online of plans to instigate violence or interfere with voting.

Elon University professor Megan Squire, a computer scientist who studies online extremism, said the far-right extremists she tracks on social media appear to be preparing for trouble — a “prepper mindset” — without citing specifics.

“They’re waiting for something to pop off,” she said. “It’s like a simmering kind of feeling.”

She said the mindset is particularly keen among boogaloo supporters, a loose, anti-government, pro-gun extremist online network. Boogaloo adherents have shown up at protests against COVID-19 lockdown orders and protests over racial injustice, carrying rifles and wearing tactical gear.

In one of the internet forums Squire follows,

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