US election: Biden event in Texas cancelled as ‘armed’ Trump supporters threaten campaign bus
Local Democrats said they were forced to pull the plug on a gathering scheduled to take place in Pflugerville – a small city about 17 miles north of Austin – due to “security reasons”.
It came as vice-presidential candidate, senator Kamala Harris, completed a whistle-stop three-city tour of the Lone Star state in a last-minute bid for votes.
Traditionally a Republican stronghold, the battle for Texas’s 38 electoral college votes is likely to go down to the wire.
President Trump has a slight lead in the state, according to FiveThirtyEight‘s latest poll update. But that advantage is within the margin of error and a Biden win in Texas could be key to his path to the White House.
Sheryl Cole, a Democrat running for re-election to Austin Council, said officials cancelled an event set to feature the city’s young party members and the Biden campaign.
“This is a first for me,” said Ms Cole of the decision to scrap the event. “Unfortunately, pro-Trump protesters have escalated well beyond safe limits. Sorry to all who looked forward to this fun event,” she added.
Congressman Lloyd Doggett, US representative candidate Wendy Davis and Austin mayor Steve Adler were among some of the speakers due to deliver remarks at the event.
A Biden/Harris campaign bus made a brief stop in downtown Austin and was heckled by around a dozen president Trump supporters. It was not immediately clear if senator Harris was travelling on the bus.
According to local Democrats, the same group of Trump supporters has been following the bus around the country in an attempt to disrupt events in key battleground states.
Rafael Anchía, a member of the Texas House of Representatives, said some of the agitators had been carrying weapons.
“Armed Trump trolls harassing Biden Bus on I-35, ramming volunteer vehicles & blocking traffic for 40 mins,” he said, before accusing Mr Trump’s son Eric of inciting “violence”.
“At least the Trump hearse is appropriate given the 200K+ Americans who have died due to his incompetence,” he added, referencing a vehicle driven by Mr Trump’s supporters to antagonize the bus.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now looking into a Friday incident in Texas where supporters of President Donald Trump aggressively surrounded a Biden campaign bus on a Texas interstate, according to the Texas Tribune.
The incident, which was captured on video, happened on Interstate 35 in Hays County and prompted Democrats to cancel at least one campaign event Friday citing “safety concerns.”
Multiple clips posted on social media show a long line of vehicles flying Trump flags trailing the Biden-Harris bus as it traveled from San Antonio to Austin. In some images, the bus appears to be boxed in by the vehicles.
At least one video showed a minor collision during the incident. Pictures showed an SUV, believed to be driven by a Biden-Harris campaign staffer, with damage along the side of the vehicle.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted what appeared to be video of the caravan surrounding the the bus saying, “I LOVE TEXAS!”
Katie Naranjo, chair of the Travis County Democratic Party, tweeted that Trump supporters followed the bus in an attempt to intimidate Biden voters.
“They ran into a person’s car, yelling curse words and threats. Don’t let bullies win, vote,” she added.
The Kyle Police Department confirmed in a statement they received reports around 4 p.m.