With only a few days to go before Election Day 2020, Donald Trump supporters attempted to run a Biden-Harris campaign bus off of a highway near Austin, Texas, and blocked traffic on the Mario Cuomo Bridge over the Hudson River, the Garden State Parkway, and the Washington DC Beltway. Two Trump “poll challengers,” one wearing a horror movie mask, attempted to intimidate early voters in Detroit and there were reports of other Trump supporters menacing voters and polling precinct authorities in other locations around the nation.
Trump endorsed the October 30 vehicular attack on the Biden-Harris bus and accompanying vehicles, claiming the armed Trump supporters were “protecting” the Democratic campaign bus. The bus, along with vehicles of Biden-Harris campaign staff and volunteers, was traveling on Interstat-35 between Austin and San Antonio when it was besieged by Trump supporters in SUVs and pick-up trucks adorned with Trump campaign flags. A vehicle belonging to a Biden-Harris volunteer was sideswiped by a Trump supporter driving a pick-up truck.
On board the bus was U.S. House of Representatives candidate and former Texas state Senator Wendy Davis. After being harassed by the Trump caravan for several hours—with no police intervention and tacit support of the Trump caravan by law enforcement—the Biden-Harris campaign bus was forced to cancel an event in San Marcos and proceed to another scheduled event in Austin. The Trump caravan followed the bus to Austin and attempted to disrupt the campaign event sponsored by the AFL-CIO, which was held in the union’s parking lot.
On November 1, Trump caravans blocked traffic on the Whitestone Bridge over the East River in The Bronx, express lanes on the Garden State Parkway at the Cheesequake Service Area in South Amboy, and the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge spanning the Hudson River and which, connects Westchester and Rockland counties.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority reported the Trump caravan “backed traffic up for about five miles.” There were reports that at least one ambulance transporting a patient to an area hospital was delayed by the Trump blockade. The New Jersey State Police is reportedly reviewing videos of the incident and may send summons to violators for obstruction of traffic. In fact, all of the highways and bridges disrupted by the Trump supporters are under constant surveillance by the EZ-PASS toll collection system and there are video, photographic, and digital recordings of the traffic offenders’ license plates and, in the case of photos, of the drivers.
The FBI in San Antonio is investigating the incident on I-35 and the New Jersey State Police is continuing its investigation of the Garden State Parkway blockage. The Texas Trump caravan was organized by a Qanon-affiliated Facebook group called the Alamo City Trump Train. Participants in the Trump train claimed they were armed. In addition to Facebook, Nextdoor.com was used to organize other Trump road rage caravans.
On November 1, Trump caravans also impeded traffic on highways in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, West Virginia, Utah, Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, and Washington state. Trump vehicles also impeded the flow of traffic on the middle lane of the Washington, DC Beltway in Maryland and Virginia, frustrating normal motorists, including shift medical workers at area hospitals coping with a resurgence of Covid-19 cases. Another Trump train snarled traffic in downtown Richmond, Virginia. There were reports of at least one pedestrian being pepper sprayed by the Trump caravan and gunshots being discharged on an unoccupied vehicle in Richmond. Residents of Marin City in California said a Trump caravan there reminded them of the Taliban coming to town. Another Trump motorcade blocked traffic in the center of Temecula in Riverside County, California. The Trump motorists blocked access to the Temecula Community Recreation Center, a voting location, until police cleared the area.
In Houston, a Trump caravan disrupted traffic on South Loop 610 near Kirby. There were thoroughfare disruptions from other Trump caravans in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona.
Two Republican polling challengers at the TCF Center in Detroit were expelled from the location after they refused to comply with regulations that included wearing a proper Covid-19 mask. One Republican donned a white mask similar to the one used in the movie “Halloween” and the other refused to cover her nose with her mask.
Cities across the country saw downtown storefronts and other buildings boarded up with plywood in anticipation of rioting and looting often provoked by far-right Trump supporters of the Boogaloo Bois and similar groups.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).