CHICAGO (CBS) — Celebrations erupted across Chicago on Saturday, after Joe Biden was projected to win the race for president, thanks to wins in Pennsylvania and Nevada.
Hundreds descended on Trump Tower, as police and other city crews blocked off traffic in the area, and police officers stood by watching a combination of party, protest, and patriotism.
Cars hit the roads, some people popped the bubbly, and many hit the brakes on their Saturday plans.
“These crowds just started naturally forming,” Chris Ward said. “Why am I driving? I’m going to join the celebration.”
“At one point, we stormed the streets and just had a dance party,” he added. “No one planned it, no one’s orchestrating it. It just organically came out.”
From Boystown to Downtown to Logan Square, hundreds gathered in the streets; many impacted by a recession, pandemic, and repeated instances of civil unrest.
They applauded Biden’s election during a year were there has been so little to clap about.
“This is just a release. I think all that pent up anxiety and worry, I think this is just a release,” Ward said.
At Union Park, hundreds gathered to demand President Donald Trump both acknowledge the election results, and agree to a peaceful transition of power.
Activists from across Chicago said their efforts to change leadership in Washington proved successful.
A goodbye chant in the shadow of Trump Tower echoed though the Loop and River North. The gathering of hundreds Downtown was met by police, and accompanied by the sounds and sights of the nearby Wabash Bridge still raised in an all too familiar effort to turn away traffic from Trump Tower. The city lifted that bridge on Election Day, expecting crowds like these at some point after the votes came in – either in protest or celebration, depending on the outcome.
With Biden now projected to be the nation’s 46th president, many took to the streets not to heckle Trump, but to express hope for the next chapter in the U.S.
“I have confidence in the person who’s leading us, especially though a pandemic, and what we’re going though as an economy,” Ward said.
“He’ll do it for all Americans, not just the ones that voted for him,” Kevin Wolfley said.
“We realize there’s so much more that’s got to happen; but I think this is a moment for us to stop, celebrate, and go into the future enthusiastic and optimistic,” Ward said.
Celebrations were vibrant throughout most of the afternoon, but the vibe was more lowkey Saturday night, though there were still plenty of people coming out to Trump Tower to both applaud President Trump’s defeat, and praise Biden’s victory.
A theme most people were celebrating was hope for change under the Biden administration.
Jennifer Bernal said she hopes to see the pandemic come under control.
“I think that Biden will be able to unite us, hopefully and so that we can tackle this pandemic together. And I think that’s what’s most important. That’s what America needs right now. We need to heal,” she said.
Antonia Hasselberg said she can’t wait to see how the rest of the world reacts to Biden’s election.
“I hope that the country can be unified again, and not as divided,” she said. “I’m German, and Germany has a pretty bad view of the USA right now, and I hope that that can change again and they can rebuild their relations.”
While the vast majority of those gathered outside Trump Tower were Biden supporters, CBS 2 spotted at least one truck in support of Trump.
Police have not reported any problems from any of the celebrations across the city, as crowds have been celebrating loudly but happily. The hope is that remains the case after nightfall.