Washington Braces For Anti-Trump Protests For Inauguration
WASHINGTON / NEW YORK – Washington has evolved into a virtual fortress on Thursday, before Donald Trump‘s presidential inauguration, as thousands of people travel the streets of New York and Washington to express their discontent with his administration at come.
According to organizers estimates, some 900,000 people, both troops and opponents, are expected to flood Washington for the inauguration ceremony on Friday. Events include the swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the US Capitol and a White House parade along the crowded streets of spectators.
The number of demonstrations and rallies scheduled this year is well above what was typical at the recent presidential inaugurations, with some thirty permits granted to Washington for anti-Trump demonstrations and sympathy demonstrations planned in cities From Boston to Los Angeles and outside the United States-cities such as London and Sydney.
On the eve of the inauguration, thousands of people gathered in New York for a rally at the Trump International Hotel and the Tower, and then walked a few blocks from the Trump Tower where the businessman lives .
The gathering featured a row of politicians, activists and celebrities including Mayor Bill de Blasio and actor Alec Baldwin, who trotted out the trump parody he performed on Saturday Night Live.
“Donald Trump can control Washington, but we control our destiny as Americans,” Blasio said. “We are not afraid of the future. We believe the future is bright, if the voices of the people are heard.”
In Washington, a group of hundreds of protesters clashed with anti-riot police who used pepper spray against some of the crowd on Thursday night, according to images on social media.
The confrontation occurred outside the National Press Club building, where inside an event called “DeploraBall” was held in support of Trump, the images shown.
Jeh Johnson, secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, said the police intended to keep the groups separate, using tactics similar to those used in last year’s political conventions.
“The concern is that some of these bands are pro-trump, some of them are con-trump, and they may not play well together in the same space,” Johnson said on MSNBC.
Trump’s opponents were angry by his comments during the campaign on women, illegal immigrants and Muslims and his promises to abolish the Obamacare health reform and build a wall at the Mexican border.
Republican supporters admire his experience in business, including as a real estate developer and star of reality television, and see him as an outsider who will take a new approach to politics.
Bikers for Trump, a group that identified itself as a safeguard at last year’s Republican convention in Cleveland, is ready to intervene if protesters block access to the inauguration, said Dennis Egbert, One of the organizers of the group.
Egbert, 63, a retired electrician from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, said: “We will support law enforcement.
Approximately 28,000 security guards, kilometers of fences, roadblocks, street barricades and dump trucks loaded with sand are part of the security cordon around 3 square miles of central Washington.
A protest group known as Disrupt J20 vowed to hold demonstrations at each of the 12 security checkpoints and block access to the festivities on the National Grass Shopping Center.
Police and security officials have repeatedly pledged to guarantee the protesters’ constitutional rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
Aaron Hyman, a researcher at the National Gallery of Art, said he could feel tensions on the streets before Trump was sworn in and that enhanced security was part of it.
“People look at each other like,” You must be a Trump supporter, “and” You must be one of those liberals, “said Hyman, 32, who backed Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election.
The Friday crowd is expected to fall well short of the 2 million people who attended the first inauguration of Obama in 2009, and be in line with the million who were at its second in 2013.
Rainfall forecasts may also slow down participation, although security officials have lifted a previous ban on umbrellas, saying that small umbrellas would be allowed.