Supporters took to the streets of Boston on Saturday to celebrate Joe Biden being projected as the winner of the 2020 presidential election. Supporters of President Donald Trump were also out protesting the declaration.
It was a politically-driven day in the city, even before the election results were called. More than a dozen organizations had gathered in Copley Square, fighting for a livable future, the climate crisis, and funding for education.
Hours later, after the announcement the nation had been waiting for since Tuesday, there was a decent-sized crowd at Copley Plaza, and supporters of both Biden and Trump were gathered outside the State House on opposite sides of the street.
On the Boston Common side, a growing crowd was chanting in support of Biden.
"It's all over," the pro-Biden supporters chanted as a number of cars and trucks passed by the crowd honking their horns.
"It's not over!" responded a group of about three dozen Trump supporters from across the street.
As one car drove by with a Biden-Harris flag waving out the window, the crowd erupted.
Both sides were festive but peaceful, as a handful of Massachusetts State Police troopers watched from the lawn outside the State House.
Later Saturday, around 6 p.m., it appeared to only be Biden supporters remaining near Boston Common. While the crowd had admittedly dwindled significantly, there was still a group celebrating in the streets that did not want to go home.
The police presence also remained, but there have been no reports of any arrests made.
Some people in attendance said the jubilant atmosphere was because Biden’s upcoming presidency represents a chance to heal after four years of stress.
Saturday's news filled Biden supporters with hope, for things like decency and neighborly love, and that belief consumed the streets.
“It’s just been a very anxious and fearful four years. It’s been really hard to see the communities I’ve grown up and lived in kind of reject who I am," said Muslim American Farah Qureschi, who was celebrating Biden's victory Saturday. "So it’s just nice to be here now and to see such repudiation of the hate and vitriol we’ve seen over the past few years."
Stories like Qureschi's brought people like Kathy Hunt to tears.
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"It’s been such a long, hard-fought battle for so many and it’s so gratifying to see the turnout here with people just wanting to be recognized for who they are,” Hunt said.
While the champagne showers weren't intended for Trump supporters to bathe in, some did show up but they were able to show optimism for the future.
"I like the Trump policies, but Biden is less divisive. He will bring the country together," one person said. "The judicial branch is controlled by conservative judges so I think we have a good balance now and hopefully he can talk across the aisle and get some things done for everybody."
Elsewhere, in the city's Roxbury neighborhood, a group calling itself the party for socialism and liberation rallied at Nubian Square. While they are happy to see Trump go, they are not necessarily excited about an incoming Biden administration, they say.
The group is upset with President Trump’s efforts to stop counting votes in several key battleground states, some of which have since been called for Biden. But not everyone believes Joe Biden is the answer, either. He’ll be a more moderate president than they’d like, they say.
"Regardless of how the election turns out, there’s crises in this country, crises around evictions, joblessness, etcetera, that need to be addressed regardless of who is president and we’re going to be demanding those things in the four years moving forward," one attendee said.
One of the speakers at Nubian Square said the group will be keeping a close eye on Biden during his presidency, watching to see what he'll do.