While sitting President Donald Trump continues to refuse to concede to President-elect Joe Biden and is going forward with lawsuits that challenge the results of the 2020 election, unions, pro-immigrant organizations and other groups critical of the White House are preparing to continue their rallies against the Trump Administration.
“First of all, the President’s complaints have no merit,” said Apolonio Morales, director of External Affairs for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), which was among the groups that took to the streets of downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, Nov. 7, in what initially was to be a march to demand a full vote count, but turned into a celebration when it was announced that Biden had clinched the number of electoral votes needed to win the election.
More than 5,000 people took part in the demonstration. The coalition included organizations and pro-immigrant groups such as Black Lives Matter, the California Faculty Association, CHIRLA, Community Coalition, Democratic Socialists of America-LA, Extinction Rebellion, Ground Game LA and others representing nurses, educators, students, parents, essential workers, truck drivers and public employees.
Carrying signs reading “The People have spoken” and “Worst loser ever,” participants and speakers demanded that Trump commit to a peaceful transfer of power.
“The voters have spoken in the ballot box and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris already reached the necessary electoral votes to be elected President of the United States,” Morales said.
“If the President continues his lawsuits and in the end doesn’t transfer power and doesn’t recognize the election results, there are plans to continue demonstrating to protect and demand that our democracy keeps moving forward,” Morales said.
Morales said more demonstrations will go on if Trump continues to refuse to accept the election results.
“The Electoral College votes in December, and Congress in January, and we expect President-elect Joe Biden assumes power on January 20, 2021.”
Biden’s Victory “Strengthens Resolve”
Others who marched in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday said they are committed to ensure that democracy prevails.
“Biden’s victory strengthens our resolve to uphold the will of the people and stop Trump’s threat to delegitimize the votes of Black and Brown people. Justice is on our side,” said Cecily Myart-Cruz, president of United Teachers Los Angeles.
“We intend to defend democracy and demand Trump concedes,” she added.
Melina Abdullah, co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter, said that “what we voted for was removing the most racist, repressive, violent and most vile occupant of the White House we’ve seen in our lifetimes. Biden’s win is a testament to the power of the people.”
Refuse Fascism, another group that has held continued protests in Los Angeles and other cities against the Trump Administration, also vowed to continue the fight in the streets.
“Biden has rightfully been declared the winner of the election, but as long as the regime is still in power, with their followers who are filled with passionate vengeance, they can still prevail through legal and extra-legal means,” cautioned Andy Zee, group spokesperson.
Zee went on to say, “The Trump/Pence campaign is filing multiple suits in courts that they have packed with reactionary judges up to the Supreme Court.”
The group urged people to “rise up now more than ever,” and pledged to prevail over “a regime that imperils the people of the world and the earth itself.”
The expectations are high for a Biden Administration.
First and foremost is putting an end to the health pandemic caused by the coronavirus. But pro-immigrant groups also have pressing issues.
“We have no time to spare. Children are still locked in cages, TPS holders are anxiously waiting for a permanent solution and DACA recipients are eager to live their lives peacefully. This is no time to step back; now the real work begins,” said Martha Arevalo, executive director for CARECEN-LA.
“We expect Joe Biden to keep his promises and move forward a robust solution that includes a permanent solution for TPS holders, a humane asylum program, an end to inhumane immigrant detention, and the immediate reunification of families separated by the Trump administration.”
Biden has promised to propose a comprehensive immigration reform package during his first 100 days in office.
While that’s hopeful, CHIRLA’s Morales cautioned that those promises have also been made in the past, without being realized.
“We need to demand immigration changes that help legalize the 11 million immigrants in our country,” he said. “For that reason, we invite our immigrant community to take action on the first day of the new administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.”
Those actions, Morales said, include holding demonstrations and marches on Inauguration Day in support of immigrant rights
On Monday, Nov. 9, a coalition of Republican attorney generals began their support of Trump’s legal challenges to the election results.
The 10 AGs, including those from Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, filed an amicus brief with the US Supreme Court urging the justices to formally take up and resolve a dispute from Pennsylvania over a ruling that the state’s Supreme Court issued in September granting three extra days for the receipt of mail-in ballots cast in last Tuesday’s election.
The brief also supports the President’s assertions of widespread election fraud amid mail balloting — which have not been identified — based on isolated cases from past elections.
Judges in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, and Michigan have already ruled against legal challenges by the Trump campaign or tossed out the lawsuits for being “meritless.”