Dueling Beacon Street rallies fervently support Trump, Biden

By Domenic Conte, Magazine Editor

Dueling crowds positioned themselves on either side of Beacon Street in front of the Massachusett State House Saturday afternoon following Democratic nominees Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ election to the White House. 

A couple hundred supporters of President Donald Trump gathered on the steps and sidewalk directly in front of the State House first, holding signs and chanting “It’s not over” to the motorcade of honking cars and revving engines. Over the next few hours, a gathering of Biden supporters crowded the other side of the street. 

Both sides stuck up middle fingers across the street, yelled derogatory remarks, and at times, blocked traffic to shout in each other’s faces. Trump supporters clamored over election interference and Biden’s alleged relations with China, while the crowd for Biden chanted “This is what democracy looks like” and “You’re orange, you’re gross, you lost the popular vote.” 

The two crowds, diametrically opposed in their beliefs, are perhaps indicative of the deep political divide highlighted by the 2020 campaign cycle and four years of tumult, some attendees said.

“It’s crazy that there’s two sides right now, like two physical sides,” Cat Pergolis, a Suffolk University junior attending the rally, said. “You can obviously tell that some people are really passionate about it and it’s great to be in a city that is this passionate about voting.”

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The separate crowds of supporters exchanged verbal insults and middle fingers throughout Saturday. (Media: Domenic Conte)

Across the country, in Phoenix and Lansing, Michigan, and at several tabulation centers in Georgia, protestors denied the election results and declarations of a Biden victory. In Brooklyn, on the other hand, a celebratory atmosphere filled the air, with rallyers banging pots and pans and dancing in the streets. In Boston, at least, social distancing measures were often ignored. 

Biden accrued a total of 290 electoral votes in the past four days, thanks to several key wins in states like Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Michigan. The electoral college victory and a four million ballot lead in the popular vote gave the Biden-Harris ticket more than enough support to oust President Donald Trump after just one term in office. 

Attendees often froze traffic on Beacon Street, with some drivers sticking fists out the window in support of either Biden or Trump. One truck driver, who slowed down as he passed the rallies, repeatedly yelled “F*** you” towards the State House side of the street, where Trump supporters gathered, until making his way through the intersection.

Kendra Charles, who stood holding signs outside the State House in support of President Trump, said she received a text last night alerting her of pro-Trump rallies at every state capital in the country. Her own doubts on the election prompted her to attend the rally.

“My concerns about the validity of the election brought me here,” Charles said. “I’ve heard and seen too much that seems abhorrent, this election. I’ve been a voter for many years, and never to my knowledge have they blocked people from coming in and observing the count.”

Across the street, Biden supporter Lara Littlefield said her side of Beacon Street was underwhelming when she arrived in the morning, but they outgrew Trump supporters as the day moved on.

“It’s long overdue, the outpouring of support for Biden today,” Littlefield said. “The president doesn’t have a firm grasp on reality, and whatever he says, his supporters believe. And that’s not based in reality.” 

Pergolis walked to the State House with a friend after hearing the news this morning. She said she found the physical divide on Beacon Street astonishing.

“This is crazy, it’s really good to see everybody in Boston be politically active, especially young people,” Pergolis said.

A member of “Asian-Americans for Trump,” Luciana Bai, a 30-year resident of China, raised signs in front of the State House to protest the election, which she said she views as a Democrat-led Chinese takeover of America. 

“I know how socialism works,” Bai said. “The Democrats are working with the [Chinese] government, so if we’re not stopping them from taking over the country, we’re watching the [Chinese Communist Party] take over this country.” 

Luciana Bai, a member of Asian-Americans for Trump, holding signs outside the State House on Saturday. (Media: Domenic Conte)

Bai said she often posts in support of Trump on Instagram.  Over the past several weeks, her posts have been delayed or removed from the social media app, which she said was one of the reasons she wanted to come out on Saturday.

“I want to live [in America] just because I love America’s true spirit,” Bai said. “Well the next morning when I wake up and you tell me this country is socialist, well I can never take that…there’s no other way…either Trump gets reelected, or we’re fighting, we fight.” 

Charles lamented the increasingly polarized nature of  U.S politics, criticizing the inflammatory remarks and turbulence she said deepens the country’s political divide.

“We don’t see ourselves as Americans any more, we see ourselves as liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans,” Charles said. “But I don’t think that’s true. We have a little bit of everything. Maybe we have one thing that’s predominant, but the hatred that’s been growing in this country, I have to stand against the hatred. We’re first of all Americans.” 

Trump supporters left the State House, mostly in a single file line, around 2:30 p.m.

Crowds in support of Biden also gathered on each corner of the Common on Saturday. Large swaths of Emerson occupied the intersection at Boylston and Tremont Street, while hundreds of Massachusetts residents at the Boylston and Charles Street intersection cheered over the results of the election.