City, News, Politics

Boston erupts in joy, relief after Biden named nation’s 46th president

MEGHAN SCOTT/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Biden supporters celebrate election results near Boston Common
By Shaun Robinson

Cheering and chanting as cars driving by honked in solidarity, hundreds of supporters of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris gathered near the Boston Common Saturday afternoon to celebrate the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“There’s so much more that needs to be done, but it is a victory,” said Alexis Rabkin, of Cambridge, who was holding up a Biden-Harris campaign sign. “It’s just nice to take a breath and celebrate.” 

A crowd of supporters formed at the intersection of Boylston and Charles streets around 1:30 p.m., and drivers passing by were honking or leaning out of their cars to cheer along. People on the sidewalk danced to Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.,” and others held up signs and flags.

The Associated Press called the race for Biden around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, after more than three days of uncertainty as several states continued to count their ballots. Biden secured the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency by winning Pennsylvania, a state President Donald Trump won in 2016.

Trump had not conceded the race as of Saturday evening, according to the AP, and in a statement, the president’s campaign wrote it will pursue legal challenges to the election results next week. 

Catherine Walker-Jacks, a Harvard Law School student, was wearing a Biden-Harris T-shirt in the crowd near the Common and said she was hopeful the election results will not change in the days to come. 

“Based upon everything we’ve seen in terms of the ballots counted and the reception that there’s been to the lawsuits that are filed, I’m not expecting anything to change too drastically,” Walker-Jacks said. “Fingers crossed.”

Jessica Tasucu, an opera teacher from Somerville, was singing and dancing on the sidewalk and said she felt relieved when a friend texted her the news of Biden’s win.

“It’s awesome. I remember four years ago when [Trump] won. In Boston, it was silent,” Tasucu said. “It was a day that I will never forget. There was nobody out on the streets.” 

Rebecca Uchill, a University of Massachusetts Dartmouth professor from Brookline, was walking down Boylston Street carrying a bundle of red, white and blue balloons. She said she was excited Trump had lost the election, but worried about the division the results showed exists in the country. 

“I’m delighted and beyond thrilled to have this particular president leave office, and cautiously hopeful that will happen without too many hiccups and tensions,” Uchill said. “I think we’ve got a lot of work to do, but today we’re just celebrating the one thing that has been declared.” 

Post Office Square rally calls out law firm’s work for Trump campaign
By Sam Drysdale

Music, chanting and the loud blare of car horns rang through Post Office Square Park on Saturday afternoon as Biden supporters joined in celebration. 

Post Office Square Park was the last stop on a triumphal procession through Downtown Boston that started at Copley Square. The coordinators of the impromptu rally said they chose to stop in the small park because of its proximity to the law office of Patrick Strawbridge, one of the lawyers representing Trump’s reelection campaign to stop the count of mail-in ballots in battleground states. 

Strawbridge is a partner at Consovoy McCarthy PLLC, which has an office across the street from the landmark green space. The law firm filed a motion to stop vote tabulation in Pennsylvania for the Trump campaign. 

The president’s administration is taking legal action against a previous ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that allowed longer deadlines for absentee ballots in the state. Strawbridge will be representing Trump’s interests, and if he wins the suit, ballots that were received between 8 p.m. Tuesday and 8 p.m. Friday will not be counted. 

Though the election has been called for Biden-Harris by most major news outlets, there likely will be recounts and Supreme Court hearings in the coming days.

Gatherers at Post Office Square Park jeered as speakers listed off Strawbridge’s involvement with the Trump campaign. Mostly, however, the crowd sang of celebration.

Henriette Sonne came to the U.S. about a year ago from her home country of Denmark. She said she had been in the Boston Common when she heard the news of Biden’s victory. 

When the CNN notification appeared on her phone, Sonne said she started crying.

“So relieved. I’m so relieved,” she said.

Sonne made her way to Post Office Square Park with her friend Elke Vanhaecke, finding and doting “Count Every Vote” and “Trump/Pence Out Now” signs along the way. 

Vanhaecke was with her two young children, and said she wanted this election to demonstrate the importance of paying attention to the world around them.

“I hope this change will make better people of them, give them good role models,” she said.

One star of the procession was a German Shepherd named Hera, who was wearing a Biden-Harris pin on her collar. Her owner, Joanna Grunin, said this was Hera’s first rally.

Dressed in a red, white and blue outfit herself, Grunin said she is hopeful about the president-elect.

“This is an amazing opportunity for democracy to overcome everything that was thrown our way during this past presidency,” Grunin said.

Al Action, a volunteer for Spare Change News, flitted among gatherers with a suitcase full of copies of the nation’s oldest street newspaper. The front page of the copies he distributed stated, in bolded letters, “Black Lives Matter.”

A long-time advocate for inequity, Action was smiling wide. 

“God Bless America, and everybody in it,” he said.

Biden, Trump supporters clash on steps of State House
By Shaun Robinson and Sam Drysdale

Biden and Trump supporters jostled for space and exchanged chants at the foot of the State House on Beacon Street Saturday afternoon — a scene that was at times tense and ended when the president’s supporters left the area surrounded by police.

By 2:30 p.m., the pro-Trump demonstrators were greatly outnumbered. Some carried campaign signs and flags, and others wore the president’s “Make America Great Again” hats. 

Thais Stoicow, who lives in Fitchburg, said over chants of “Go home terrorists” and the sound of a snare drum that she came out because she is concerned the United States is becoming “a socialist country.” 

“I feel like the media is calling the shots, and it’s not theirs to call,” Stoicow said of the election. “They’ve been calling the election for Biden for the last six months.”

Bob Hartwell, who was sitting down and clad in a fedora and peace sign necklace, said he thinks the election was fraudulent and that “what’s happening across this country is very shameful.”

“This election is definitely a sham,” Hartwell said.

There is so far no evidence of voter fraud in this year’s election, according to The New York Times. 

Just before 3 p.m., the pro-Trump demonstrators left the area with police officers to a chorus of boos.

Read more of our election coverage at dailyfreepress.com/category/city. Want to share photos or videos of your post-election celebrations? Send them to [email protected]

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