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The influence of protests and armed groups on the US election campaign

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The influence of protests and armed groups on the US election campaign
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A big part of the campaign for US president has been the long, hot summer of protests in America.

Killings or shootings of unarmed black people have unleashed days of demonstrations that have sometimes turned violent.

It's led to the rise of the involvement of armed factions on both sides of the political divide that some commentators believe is influencing the presidential race, despite them having no actual connection to law enforcement.

When largely peaceful protests in the wake of the shooting and serious injury of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin turned violent in ome instances, some Black Lives Matter protesters blamed outside extremists for co-opting their movement - and torching a predominantly black neighbourhood.

Local business owner Eric Oertle agreed:

"This was not people from this community that did this. The people around here are good.

"We get along great: black, white, hispanic, we get along."

But the Trump campaign has been squarely blaming Black Lives Matter for the violence in itd attempt to push a law-and-order message.

Paru Shah, a political science professor from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee believes it's working, at least in terms of shoring up current Trump voters:

"Support for Black Lives Matter has dropped since it's height this summer."

Euronews
Professor Paru Shah says the Trump campaign is working in terms of at least shoring up current Trump votersEuronews

It's certainly convinced Trump supporters like Kathy Johnson:

"The divisiveness, the Black Lives Matter, all of that, it's way bigger and really, really, really scary."

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"The divisiveness, Black Lives Matter, all of that, it's way bigger and really, really, really scary." Kathy Johnson, Trump supporterEuronews

Armed militia members have become a factor in this election. 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse is facing charges of killing two protesters in Kenosha on August 25th.

Euronews
17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse is charged with killing two protesters in Kenosha on August 25thEuronews

In Michigan,13 alleged militia members have been charged in relation to a plan to abduct Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Furthermore, militia members called the Oath Keepers have announced that they intend to patrol outside voting sites on election day while armed.