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As election win is projected for Joe Biden, people demonstrate in Huntington Beach

Pro-Trump protesters rally Saturday afternoon at Pier Plaza in downtown Huntington Beach.
Pro-Trump protesters rally Saturday afternoon at Pier Plaza in downtown Huntington Beach. The Associated Press and several other media outlets are reporting Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Orange County residents woke up Saturday to the news that Joe Biden was now being projected as the president-elect of the United States.

Major news networks had called the races for Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes and the six in Nevada, pushing Biden over the threshold of 270 electoral votes needed to win the election.

Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris gave victory speeches in Wilmington, Del., on Saturday night.

“I’m humbled by the trust and confidence you placed in me,” Biden said. “I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but unify, who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States.”

Harris, now in line to become the country’s first female vice president, addressed the subject in a speech that preceded Biden’s.

“What a testament it is to Joe’s character that he had the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exists in our country and select a woman as his vice president,” Harris said. “But while I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”

Pro-Trump protesters rally Saturday afternoon at Pier Plaza in downtown Huntington Beach.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

The Huntington Beach Pier — a frequented location for protests in the name of social justice as well as against coronavirus pandemic-related shutdowns, earlier this year — once again was the site of a demonstration that came in the aftermath of the election results.

Both supporters of President Donald Trump and proponents of the Biden-Harris ticket came out to demonstrate on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Jeremy Tangaro, 50, of Huntington Beach, who took issue with the administration’s handling of the pandemic, said he was awoken by cheers.

“I heard cheering in my complex,” Tangaro said. “I turned on the mainstream media, and I was pretty excited that it turned out the way that it did.”

Hillary Green, 45, of Huntington Beach was one of few that stuck around once a heavy rain began to fall. She carried a Trump flag.

“There’s been implications of some things that are fraudulent, and I’ll accept whatever the election result is, but I want to know that our elections are done fairly and that there’s oversight,” Green said. “I’ll wait for as long as I have to for whatever’s the right outcome.”

Green added that no matter what side people are on, “They need to love America.”

Pro-Trump protesters rally Saturday afternoon at Pier Plaza in downtown Huntington Beach.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Dawn Southern, 54, of Seal Beach brought a Biden sign, but she joined the Trump supporters on the pier side of Pacific Coast Highway. She said she believes the country is divided and needs to be united.

“We’ve got to remember we’re Americans first,” Southern said. “We’re not Republicans. We’re not Democrats. We’re not Independents. We’re Americans.”

Some feel unease about questions that have been raised regarding the legitimacy of the election results. The Trump campaign has pursued legal action to contest the election results in several key battleground states.

Kent Braithwaite, 62, of Huntington Beach, who said he has done volunteer work for the Democratic Party, had a response to that.

“Let them sue,” Braithwaite said. “I think everything has been thrown out at the initial level. I am extremely happy.”

A Pro-Trump protester holds a sign claiming Joe Biden is stealing the election during a rally Saturday afternoon.
A Pro-Trump protester holds a sign claiming Joe Biden is stealing the election during a rally Saturday afternoon at Pier Plaza in downtown Huntington Beach.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Michelle Peterson, 55, of Huntington Beach was collecting signatures for a recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom. She said that she was able to gather about 50 signatures before the rain came.

Peterson did not have faith in the election results, saying, “Why in this day in age, when we all carry a computer in a telephone in our pocket, why are we not voting electronically 200 years later? Why are we still voting like we’re in the 1700s, like it’s 1776? Why? That’s how we did it 200-plus years ago. Because we can manipulate the election.”

Ethan Chang, 28, of Huntington Beach remained on site, even after a heavy downpour of rain dispersed most of the crowd. Chang was dressed in a colonial era Loyalist costume after an event he was scheduled to work for a living history museum was snowed out.

He stood with Green as the afternoon continued, and though he identified as a Libertarian who voted for Jo Jorgensen, his strongest stance was against the identity politics he said he feels define the Democratic Party.

“I’m actually technically a person of color, and I abhor that,” Chang said. “My entire life, I just wanted to be seen as a person and treated as everyone else.”

The demonstration was mostly peaceful throughout the afternoon, although not without signs of the division prevalent throughout the election cycle. Some passersby in cars displayed obscene hand gestures toward partisan attendees.

Pro-Trump protesters hold up four fingers as they shout "Four more years!" during a rally Saturday afternoon.
Pro-Trump protesters hold up four fingers as they shout “Four more years!” during a rally Saturday afternoon at Pier Plaza in downtown Huntington Beach.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

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