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Several hundred people gathered in Boston for two post-election rallies Wednesday, to advocate for counting all the votes still being tabulated in several battleground states following this week's presidential election.
U.S. Sen. Ed Markey appeared at the first event, called "Count Every Vote," at the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common. Before a crowd of more than 200 in the afternoon, Markey pledged to help ensure President Trump does not stop the legal counting of mail-in votes in the Midwest and southeast.
"We will not let him do this," Markey said. "We are going to stand up, and we are going to use every single avenue that is peacefully available to American citizens to stop him in his attempts to steal this election."
The rally, organized by ACLU of Massachusetts, the NAACP Boston Branch and the Indivisible Mass Coalition, included speakers representing workers, racial justice groups, and housing and religious organizations.
Tanisha Sullivan, president of the Boston NAACP, said, "We will not rest until every vote is counted.” She added, "That’s not partisan. That’s American.”
A second gathering started about 6 p.m. in Nubian Square and was dubbed "Don't Let Trump Steal the Election." Led by the Freedom Fighters Coalition, the lively event drew a diverse group of roughly 300 people, cheered on by honking cars. The crowd eventually set out marching to Copley Square.
Heidi Olson, 43, of Gloucester, said she was at Nubian Square because Trump "is stealing the election and we’re here along with many other groups in support that we want him out.”
Others were drawn to the rally because they want to see Trump voted out.
Ternique Gandy, 20, said he was laid off due to the pandemic and hopes to see the virus lift and racism decline. His friend Axel Vazquez said, "For the past four years, with this president in office, I have seen this country go to a place that I’ve never seen before."
Ernst Jean-Jacques, a community activist, moderated most of the program in Nubian Square Wednesday evening. He read a long list of demands, representing a cross-section of interests including environmental justice, indigenous sovereignty and issues related to people who are undocumented.
As the crowd prepared to march, Jean-Jacques asked them to repeat after him.
“We will not engage with the police,” he said. “We will not speak with the police. Our goal is to get you home in the same manner in which you came here ... but more inspired.”
The band started up. At the front of the crowd was a banner that said: “No liberation without revolution.”
Both rallies had been pre-planned in the days before the election. As of Wednesday afternoon, neither Joe Biden nor President Trump had reached the required 270 electoral votes needed to win in the Electoral College. Biden was ahead in the evening, 264 to 214, according to the Associated Press, but several states were still counting votes and challenges are expected.
Reporters saw police standing by near Boston Common during the peaceful event, and a helicopter circled overhead. Members of the National Guard also were stationed in the city, called up by Gov. Charlie Baker earlier this week.
This article was originally published on November 04, 2020.
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