Thousands of people flooded around the White House Saturday afternoon to celebrate President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
After three days of counting ballots from the remaining key states, Biden clinched Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes needed to secure the presidency. The win makes him the 46th U.S. president and Kamala Harris the first Black and first South Asian vice president in U.S. history.
At about 11:30 a.m., minutes after CNN first called the election, crowds of people congregated at Black Lives Matter Plaza, banging pots and pans with utensils, popping champagne and dancing to celebrate the win. Several more people sprayed champagne in the crowd as the festivities continued throughout the day.
GW students, D.C. residents and out-of-state supporters turned out, gathering on the intersection of H Street and BLM Plaza in groups.
Through the afternoon, celebratory car honks could be heard throughout the city and several people blasted the song “Fuck Donald Trump” from their cars throughout the afternoon.
Laura Golden, a 41-year-old District resident, said she’s looking forward to the work that Biden will accomplish alongside Harris.
“I think that America still has a lot of uphill battle,” she said. “I mean, obviously, half of the electorate still voted for an incompetent jerk, and that’s me toning down my language, but I’m really excited about the fact that that we’re going to have a decent man in the White House again.”
Piper, an 18 year-old D.C. resident who did not provide her last name, said she felt “euphoric” about Biden’s victory.
“I’ve been living in fear of the concept of [President Donald] Trump’s next term and what he’s going to do for long, knowing that it’s going to be over, I feel so good – I feel so happy,” she said.
She said LGBTQ rights and police brutality were major issues that determined which candidate she supported this year. Thousands took to the streets around the District and across the country this summer demanding police reform following the deaths of several Black Americans.
“I think police brutality and the justice system is crazy important to be changing at its very, very core right now,” she said. “And I know that none of that was going to get done under a literal white supremacist.”
Jessica, a 29 year-old D.C. resident who did not provide her last name, said she enjoyed being part of a celebratory day after feeling a “collective sadness” during Trump’s administration.
“I feel like people are hopefully breathing a collective sigh of relief today, but the work’s not over, there’s still so much left to do, but at least I feel like we can get started on some of the work,” she said.
At about 1 p.m., a group of people wearing shirts reading “Here to Stay” started chanting phrases like “This is what democracy looks like” and “Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here.” Several more joined in with intermittent chants like “Fuck Donald Trump” and “U-S-A.”
A small group of Trump supporters gathered at the National Monument holding out hope that Trump could still carry a victory after litigation, WUSA9 reporter Kolbie Satterfield tweeted. Trump has refused to deliver a concession speech and falsely claimed earlier Saturday that he “won.”
Francisco Camacho, Abigail Osborne and Gabriella Spina contributed reporting.