Clashes have broken out between opposing groups at election rallies across the country as Americans from both sides of the political divide reacted to Joe Biden winning the US presidency.
Biden was finally named the next president of the United States on Saturday morning following a grueling, four-day ballot counting process that had the world waiting with bated breath to learn who would be the next to take office.
The long-awaited results had emotions running high among both Democrats and Republicans, with jubilant Biden supporters taking to the streets in celebration as angered Trump fans gathered at ‘Stop the Steal’ rallies across the states including Michigan, Georgia, North Dakota and Arizona.
In Michigan, Trump fans descended on the Capitol in Lansing chanting ‘four more years’, ‘we won’ and ‘stop the steal’, repeating the president’s claims that he was robbed of the election.
Scenes turned violent when Biden supporters converged at the rally, where members of both sides pushed, shoved and shouted at one another in a tense standoff.
LANSING: Video shared on social media showed a brawl between Trump and Biden supporters during a rally in Lansing, Michigan
LANSING: Emotions ran high among Democrats and Republicans on Saturday after Joe Biden was finally named the next president of the United States. Pictured: Bystanders intervene in a fight between Trump and Biden fans
LANSING: Trump supporters, left, demonstrating the election results argue with counter protesters at the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan
LANSING: Trump supporters, rear, demonstrating the election results, argue with counter protesters at the State Capitol Saturday
LANSING: Trump supporters face off with Biden supporters in Michigan Saturday as the president refused to accept the result
LANSING: Trump fans wear MAGA hats and wave Donald Trump banners and American flags at the State Capitol in Michigan
In footage shared on social media, a group of men, some wearing Trump t-shirts and some holding Biden-Harris campaign flags, were seen brawling on the street, forcing bystanders to step in to break up the fight.
In Atlanta, outside the state Capitol in the longtime Republican stronghold of Georgia, chants of ‘Lock him up!’ rang out among an estimated 1,000 Trump supporters. Others chanted, ‘This isn’t over! This isn’t over!’ and ‘Fake news!’
No immediate violence was reported, though at one point, police moved to separate Trump opponents from supporters. Biden held a slim lead in Georgia, which hasn’t gone for a Democrat since 1992.
Even in a place that wasn’t close, Trump supporters gathered in droves to express support for him and vent frustration at the outcome of the election.
Outside of North Dakota’s Capitol in Bismarck, the state’s all-Republican congressional delegation joined protesters carrying pro-Trump signs and banners and chanting, ‘Four more years!’ and ‘Stop the steal!’
SALEM: A supporter of President Trump yells at a member of the media during a Stop the Steal rally
SALEM: Supporters of President Trump and a counterprotester fight at the Oregon State Capitol building Saturday
SALEM: Anti-Trump supporter flashes a f**k Trump sign at one of the president’s supporters during a rally in Salem
A few skirmishes broke out between Trump backers and pro-Biden and Black Lives Matters demonstrators, with one BLM supporter attempting to handcuff himself to a Trump supporter. The two men began wrestling on the ground.
An officer escorted the Black Lives Matter supporter to a squad car. It was unclear if he had been arrested.
In Los Angeles, a man, who stood in front of a caravan of supporters of the president to show his opposition, was hit by a car he was blocking.
Trump has also refused to accept the call, claiming Biden was trying to ‘falsely pose’ as the winner and vowing to keep challenging results he claims are a ‘fraud’ as he appeared glum on his return to the White House.
He had been golfing on Saturday at his Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia when major TV networks and the Associated Press projected that Biden had secured the votes needed to win the White House.
Photos showed Trump huddled with three unidentified golfing partners, and then gazing wistfully down the fairway, soon after the election was called.
SALT LAKE CITY: Members of rival groups faced off during a protest against the election result in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY: Supporters of presumptive president Joe Biden and Black Lives Matter, clash with Trump fans in Salt Lake City
LOS ANGELES: A man, who stood in front of a caravan of supporters of US President Donald Trump to show his opposition, is hit by a car he was blocking
SACRAMENTO: A verbal confrontation unfolded between a Joe Biden supporter and a Donald Trump supporter as they gathered outside the California State Capitol after major news organizations called the US 2020 Presidential Election for Joe Biden
Things have escalated quickly here. Trump supporters keep coming over and have surrounded the small group of younger Latina women. They’re 17-20 years old and groups are screaming at each other about racism and the future of this country pic.twitter.com/mWEswoRvrx
— Brianna Sacks (@bri_sacks) November 8, 2020
Meanwhile outside the golf course, the streets were awash with American flags and Trump banners as demonstrators expressed their support for the president.
A handful of Biden fans were also spotted in the crowd however, the scene did not turn combative.
Trump’s supporters had for days been protesting outside of ballot-counting operations, alleging without evidence that the slow-moving results were proof of cheating.
‘This isn’t over! This isn’t over! Fake news!’ some shouted Saturday as about 1,000 gathered at the Georgia State Capitol after news organizations’ decision to call the election.
But across America, it was mostly the Democrats taking to the streets in jubilant displays, celebrating what was to them an end to four years of constant crises, chaos and anxiety.
VIRGINIA: His political star falling, Trump gazes wistfully down the fairway. He remained silent on Twitter in the immediate aftermath of the election being called, though his campaign issued an immediate statement disputing the results and vowing a legal battle
VIRGINIA: Meanwhile outside the golf course, the streets were awash with American flags and Trump banners as demonstrators expressed their support for the president
VIRGINIA: A handful of Biden supporters gathered outside the Trump National Golf Club after the election results were called
VIRGINIA: A woman is seen holding a ‘I’m riding with Biden’ sign among a sea of Trump supporters outside the golf course
In New York City, some chanted ‘the nightmare is over.’
‘It’s surreal, I feel like I’m free from the clutches of evil,’ said Lola Faleit, a 26-year-old human resources manager.
‘In 2016, we woke up crying. Today we are celebrating. Look, the sky is clear blue, the sun is out, Mother Nature is celebrating, too.’
The nation paused, too, to reflect on electing its first woman vice president, Kamala Harris. Amid a celebration in Berkeley, California, where Harris spent much of her childhood, Mayor Jesse Arreguin said the liberal city’s diversity and progressive values helped shape Harris into a ‘leader that stands for equality, empowerment and justice.’
The news for some collided with the constant churn of crises the country has faced – the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 236,000 Americans, the economic recession that accompanied it, gun violence and police killings that have forced a national reckoning on racism.