On Friday, a caravan of Trump supporters followed a Biden campaign bus down the highway near Austin, Texas, allegedly trying to slow the bus or even run it off the road. Viral videos from the encounter show pick-up trucks flying "Trump 2020" flags and other vehicles surrounding the Biden bus and boxing it in. The Biden campaign ultimately called off its planned rally, but told CBS Austin that it was not because of the alleged traffic interference.
Multiple videos from the scene show vehicles bearing Trump campaign merchandise surrounding the Biden bus, getting in front of it, and slowing down. Some witnesses even claimed on Twitter that the trucks were attempting to run the bus off the road. According to Texas Rep. Rafael Anchia, the drivers made it clear that they were armed, and were "ramming volunteer vehicles [and] blocking traffic for 40 minutes." The caravan followed the Biden bus off of I-35 and into the city, where at least some event organizers deemed them a "security threat."
These tactics have no place in Texas, my home state, and no place in America.
Please vote. Please volunteer this weekend. The future of our democracy is at stake. pic.twitter.com/G0O4yg2vnJ— Dr. Eric Cervini (@ericcervini) October 31, 2020
While the Biden campaign claimed that its events on Friday were not canceled because of these confrontations, state Rep. Sheryl Cole said otherwise. On Twitter, she wrote: "we just canceled a joint event in Pflugerville w/ [Joe Biden] campaign, [Austin Young Democrats] and more, due to security reasons. Unfortunately, Pro-Trump Protestors have escalated well beyond safe limits. Sorry to all who looked forward to this fun event."
CBS Austin reports that the city is afraid of more violent confrontations like this one, especially when the legitimacy of the election is being called into question. The director for conflict resolution at the Carter Center, Hrair Balian, told reporters that "both leaders have to call for calm."
Armed Trump trolls harassing Biden Bus on I-35, ramming volunteer vehicles & blocking traffic for 40 mins. Eric Trump took to FB to incite this violence.October 30, 2020
"Dehumanizing the other side and seeking to take everything and leaving nothing for the other side, those are signals that things may go very wrong," Balian said.
So far, Trump has not responded to the videos of his supporters disrupting traffic with his name plastered on their vehicles. The president has repeatedly drawn criticism for failing to condemn violence from his supporters, including white supremacist groups like the Proud Boys. He has also been criticized for criticizing left-leaning groups too much, even after federal investigators found that groups like "AntiFa" are not an organized threat.
A Travis County Democratic Party Rep says Trump Supporters have been following the Biden bus “all over the country.” Since we’ve been here they’ve been shouting at Mayor Adler and screaming about how Joe Biden is a communist. pic.twitter.com/RfyTfhhI1z— Jordan Bontke (@JBontkeCBS) October 30, 2020
At the time of this writing, the latest polls show Biden leading by about 8.5 points in the national polls, according to The Guardian. Election Day 2020 is on Tuesday, Nov. 3.