AUSTIN, Texas (KEYE) — The Biden-Harris Bus made a brief appearance in Downtown Austin at 11th and Lavaca on Friday.
Texas Democrats were hoping to host speakers like Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Wendy Davis and Austin Mayor Steve Adler but the Texas Democrats told us they canceled the event so not to take away attention from vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, who made three stops in the Lone Star State on Friday in Forth Worth, McAllen and Houston.
The Biden bus has also been closely followed by Trump supporters while on the road, though Texas Democrats insist their presence didn’t affect their decision to call off the downtown Austin rally.
A representative with the Travis County Democrats said it’s the same people looking to disrupt events and it’s been happening all throughout the country. Including in Houston’s Missouri City earlier this week. That’s where Trump supporters showed up with a hearse that read “vote like your life depends on it.”
“A lot of people are going to support Donald Trump and not tell you,” said one Fort Bend County voter.
In Pflugerville, Texas House Representative Sheryl Cole tweeted the Biden bus was supposed to make a stop there with the Austin Young Democrats but she wrote they, too, had to cancel--but due to security reasons.
“Pro-Trump Protesters have escalated well beyond safe limits,” she posted.
She quoted a tweet from Texas House Rep Rafael Anchía, who claimed “Armed Trump trolls harassing Biden Bus on I-35, ramming volunteer vehicles & blocking traffic for 40 mins.”
“Both leaders have to call for calm,” said Hrair Balian, Director for conflict resolution at the Carter Center.
Between prior violent protests like what Austin saw in late May after the killing of George Floyd and the potential for not knowing election results on the night of, there are concerns we’re slated to see more confrontations like what we saw Friday.
“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,” said Balian.