Crowds marched through the streets of downtown Los Angeles and celebrated in neighborhoods throughout the city for hours after the U.S. presidential race was called for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Saturday.
Making their way from Pershing Square to L.A. City Hall, people carried banners and signs that read “Defending the Election” and “Defending Our Democracy.” Rainbow and American flags also fluttered along with the crowd as they chanted and cars honked.
Many carried Biden and Harris campaign signs as they marched, with singing and drumming echoing through the streets of downtown L.A.
The crowd swelled as hundreds more joined the march throughout the morning. Police officers were seen keeping watch from the steps of L.A. City Hall.
In Silver Lake, people banged on pots and pans as they shouted in the streets — more than six hours after the race was called. Sunset Boulevard was so packed with revelers that it took cars an hour to drive several blocks, some on social media said.
In Hollywood, drivers honked to a cheering crowd gathered on Hollywood Boulevard, where President Donald Trump’s star on the Walk of Fame appeared to be fenced off. One woman held a sign that read “hallelujah.”
Nearby in West Hollywood and Echo Park, small dance parties erupted, social media videos show.
Those in L.A. County join thousands across the nation coming together either in celebration or protest after Biden crossed 270 Electoral College votes with a win in Pennsylvania early Saturday morning. The announcement came after a dayslong wait watched around the world.
A caravan of cars with Trump flags traveled through the 405 Freeway in the Westchester area and supporters rallied for the president in Beverly Hills.
Earlier in the day in Huntington Beach, dozens of Trump supporters gathered Saturday morning waving banners near the pier, where they’ve come for weeks.
With crowding seen all throughout Southern California, the L.A. County Department of Public Health warned about the spread of the coronavirus.
“Because we are still in the midst of a pandemic, we cannot afford to gather in ways that increase transmission of the virus,” county Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “Let us remember that no matter how we feel, we all have an obligation to protect each other from COVID-19. Gathering with people outside of your household, especially in settings where people are shouting, chanting, or singing and not distancing can easily lead to increased cases of COVID-19.”
Health officials told residents that if they can’t avoid gathering with others, it’s important that they wear face coverings properly, keep at least 6 feet away from others and remain outdoors.