Protestors bring shouts, placards to Trump’s inauguration celebration
Washington, Jan 20 (IANS) Protestors greeted people with shouts and placards that spoke of uncertainties, fears and their disgust for US’s new leader, as they arrived here on Friday to mark the inauguration of Donald Trump.
“Out of the Closet. Into the Streets,” read a sign displayed by about 100 LGBT rights activists who marched past McPherson Square at about 7.30 a.m.
The protestors made their way towards one of the checkpoints that Trump supporters would have to pass through to view the Republican leader take oath of office in the next few hours.
They chanted: “Whose streets? Our streets!”
The number of the protestors descending here on Trump’s Big Day was not clear but law enforcement officials said they were bracing for more than 60 demonstration groups, both in support of and against the incoming President.
About two dozen groups have received permits for specific gathering spaces for Friday and Saturday, when the Women’s March will take over the streets.
In the days leading up to the inauguration, protests started with one group shutting down K. Street in downtown Washington and gay rights advocates holding a dance party near the temporary home of Vice President-elect Mike Pence in Chevy Chase.
Hundreds of protestors on Thursday night gathered outside the National Press Club where the “DeploraBall” was being held.
The could be heard shouting “racist” and “Nazi” at those attending the celebratory ball on the eve of Trump’s inauguration.
At one point, someone threw an object that hit a counter protestor in the head.
One of the protestor groups plans to have different organisations gather at each of the dozen checkpoints that inauguration ticket holders will have to pass through.
Each will speak to a different cause, organised under names that include: Future is Feminist, Movement for Black Lives, Standing Rock for Native Lives, Economic Justice and Communities under Attack.
“Hey, hey, ho, ho! Donald Trump has to go!” a group of about 100 protestors said. “End white supremacy!”
At another checkpoint, protestors from the Black Lives Matter movement formed a human chain, shutting down the entrance at about 8.30 a.m.
As police lined the perimeter and a light rain came down on the crowd, protestors there sang “I’m gonna let it shine”.
The protestors plan to “shut down the Inauguration ceremonies and any related celebrations — the Inaugural parade, the Inaugural balls, you name it”.
“We’re also planning to paralyse the city itself, using blockades and marches to stop traffic and even public transit,” the group said online.
The group, which expects more than 30,000 participants, will also be gathering in the afternoon at McPherson Square.
Not all of the demonstrations on Friday will be anti-Trump. Among those groups that requested permits for space are two organisations that support him: Bikers for Trump and Let America Hear Us, Roar for Trump.
The anti-Trump protestors have thousands of signs ready to hand out. Among them are: “Say no to racism,” “Stop the Trump Agenda” and “Inaugurate the Resistance.”
“It’s not a one-day event,” a protestor said. “We’re calling it Day One of a larger resistance movement.”