There has been wild jubilation around the streets as thousands of jubilant Joe Biden supporters honked car horns, banged on pots and cheered to celebrate the Democratic candidate’s victory in the United States elections.
“I could dance and scream all day long,” Bernadette Etienne, a retired translator, told Al Jazeera from Black Lives Matter Plaza.
“There is so much misery to expel, so much hatred to get rid of,” Etienne said. “It’s been four horrible nightmarish years.”
The lively crowd of people, most of whom wore masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, danced, played music and drank champagne straight from bottles.
Streets were closed to traffic in the US capital as large crowds of people kept arriving to the sound of car horns and cowbells. Some waved US and LGBTQ flags. Many wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts.
The Associated Press declared Biden the winner of the tightly contested election on Saturday morning, after days of waiting. The former US vice president is expected to take the reins of a deeply divided nation that is struggling to contain a pandemic that has killed more than 236,000 Americans.
“I was getting ready for this day for a long time,” Andrew Hasson, who joined the crowd outside the White House, told Al Jazeera. “This week was super stressful just waiting for the results to come in, but this is a great feeling and DC feels alive again.”
Trump supporters were noticeably absent from the scene outside the White House, though that is unsurprising: Washington, DC is a Democratic stronghold where over 93 percent of people voted for Biden.
Trump voters protested in other parts of the country, refusing to accept defeat and pushing unfounded theories that widespread voter fraud was “stealing” Trump’s second term in office.
Trump has so far refused to concede and has promised to challenge the result. But legal experts say Trump’s accusations of fraud are unfounded and are unlikely to succeed.
Trump’s time in office was characterised by harsh immigration policies, including a ban preventing citizens of several Muslim-majority countries from entering the US, as well as withdrawal from several international agreements and a refusal to condemn white supremacists.