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The group, comprised of more than 50 groups, including MoveOn, Color of Change and the American Federation of Teachers, calls itself the Fight Back Table and recently launched their Democracy Defense Nerve Center.
According to the Daily Beast, members of the group held a Zoom call last week in which they discussed how they can plan for Election Day and then coordinate large-scale civil disobedience and what one participant called “mass public unrest” if – as they predict – President Trump and his supporters contest November’s election results.
“It is very obvious that Trump is laying the groundwork for claiming victory no matter what,” said MoveOn executive director Rahna Epting, who participated in the call.
One person familiar with the discussions told the Beast that they are worried about right-wing extremists taking action on Election Day, going so far as to warn that armed groups or individuals inspired by Kyle Rittenhouse could show up to intimidate voters.
“I don’t know what the strategy is when armed right-wing militia dudes show up in polling places,” the individual told the Beast. “This [Kyle] Rittenhouse guy is being lionized on the right, right now. If it is being unleashed that you can shoot people and be a hero, I don’t know what preparation we can possibly do for that.”
One of the key goals of the discussion was reportedly to figure out how they can “occupy s–t, hold space and shut things down, not just on Election Day but for weeks,” the same person said.
Georgetown University law professor Rosa Brooks, who co-founded the Transition Integrity Project, said she thinks this sort of strategizing should have started much sooner.
“I wish we were having these conversations six months ago,” Brooks told the Beast. Her project included running simulations of possible election scenarios and their respective aftermaths. In one such simulation, the Beast reported, Biden’s camp “encouraged Western states, particularly California but also Oregon and Washington, and collectively known as ‘Cascadia,’ to secede from the Union'” unless Trump and Republicans agreed to various demands.
Those demands include granting statehood to Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., eliminating the Electoral College, and breaking California into five states in order to increase their number of senators.
During their Zoom call, the Fight Back Table reportedly discussed the Transition Integrity Project’s report, which claims that despite the above secession situation, Trump’s team would be “consistently more ruthless than Team Biden.” The report said that in some simulations, the project examined what would happen if the president classifies documents or freezes opponents’ assets for political purposes, uses operatives to stoke violence, or even uses the military to “confiscate ‘fraudulent’ ballots.”
Trump, meanwhile, has been claiming that it is the Democrats who plan on using nefarious means to gain control of the White House. He has long claimed that the election would be “rigged” because of large-scale mail-in voting, particularly as some states are sending ballots to everyone on their voter rolls, whether they are still eligible to vote or not.
Other states are permitting absentee ballots, which President Trump has supported because it requires individuals to submit applications first.