Trump inauguration protests are threatening to virtually cripple Washington D.C. when the President-elect is sworn in on January 20. As of January 6, 26 organized protest groups (at the very least) have applied for or been granted permits for organized protests during or around the time of the Trump inauguration events. According to USA Today, that number is over four time greater than average for previous presidential inaugurations, and it could spell big trouble for D.C.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to descend on the city to participate in Trump inauguration protests, with over 200,000 expected to join in the Women’s March on Washington alone. That massive, grass-roots event is scheduled for January 21, the day after the Trump inauguration, and is expected to draw prominent human and civil rights advocates and activists.
Posters all over DC calling for protests during Trump's inauguration. pic.twitter.com/lc1pKRpCdS
— John Bresnahan (@BresPolitico) January 2, 2017
Reportedly, that massive Trump inauguration protest was unable to get permits to protest on Inauguration Day.
Many protesters have vowed to “shut down” Washington D.C. as they express their disgust and dismay at the election and swearing-in of President-elect Donald Trump. In addition to the unprecedented number of inauguration protests expected to take place during Trump’s official transition, security experts managing the event also have to worry about domestic and foreign terrorist attacks, among other threats.
As Fox News reports, the Trump inauguration protests are not expected to draw as many people to Washington D.C. as showed up for Barack Obama’s 2009 swearing-in. That historic event drew 1.8 million largely thrilled revelers. However, many of those headed to D.C. for the Trump inauguration aren’t going with a happy, celebratory mindset. Far from it, and that presents an unprecedented security problem.
Not to mention the transit and service industry challenges that the Trump inauguration is already expected to bring to D.C. on the weekend of January 20. According to Republican Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, he is incredibly concerned about Trump inauguration security and the possible consequences if security is inadequate or breached.
“Security is my greatest concern. No question that on inaugural day, this would be the most appealing target in the world.”
— The Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 11, 2017
According to Blunt, the Trump inauguration protests alone could draw 750,000 people into Washington D.C.
Because the Trump inauguration protests are presenting such a large security risk, dozens of agencies are already working in tangent to keep D.C. as safe as possible on Inauguration Day. Over three-dozen groups, from the Capitol Police and National Guard to the FBI and Secret Service, have joined forces keep inauguration events secure, and rehearsals for the big event have reportedly already started. In fact, according to many service members, preparing for this event has been on-going for years.
“It’s a rehearsal, but in the military we call it a drill. We’ve been preparing for this since the last inauguration. We’re focused to protecting and honoring a new commander in chief.”
At least 7,500 Guardsmen and roughly 3,000 police officers from multiple states are coming to Washington D.C. to lend their services to inauguration security detail, and everybody will be taking their orders from the Secret Service.
— PCKYLLYR (@PC_Kyllyr) January 8, 2017
@BresPolitico He bought it on himself, labeling over 50% of the country his enemies. Not one tear for him or his exclusionary rhetoric.
— Becky Jed (@becky_jed) January 2, 2017
— Cal_Resistance (@_yazrocks) January 9, 2017
A reminder as we near the inauguration: migrants/ POC/ trans & gender non-conforming ppl are more vulnerable to assault & arrest @ protests.
— Barbara Sostaita (@BarbaraSostaita) January 8, 2017
All of the practice might just make the difference between a safe and orderly Trump inauguration and utter chaos. While the inauguration events officially kick off on the morning of January 20 with the official swearing-in of the President-elect, followed by the traditional Pennsylvania Ave. parade and While House balls, events are planned for the entire weekend.
And so are anti-Trump protests, some of them massive. And some with a very clear intention of being as disruptive as possible in protest of the inauguration of President-elect Trump. One such group, DisruptJ20, is expecting tens of thousands of protesters, has proper permits, and has been holding meetings for weeks. The DisruptJ20 protest was widely promoted by filmmaker Michael Moore, who called on activists to come to D.C. to protest Trump on his big day. According to the organizers of that Trump inauguration protest, they want to “paralyze the city.”
“We’re planning a series of massive, direct actions that will shut down the inauguration ceremonies and any related celebrations. We’re also planning to paralyze the city.”
— Ann Tiffa (@antifa_news1) January 10, 2017
The anti-Trump minds behind DisruptJ20 have openly admitted that they want nothing less than to disrupt everything related to the Trump inauguration and that they are “targeting” virtually every inauguration event. They even plan to erect roadblocks and use protesters as human shields to interrupt street traffic and public transit, as well as keep revelers away from celebrations and parties.
Adding to the potential inauguration powder-keg is the fact that at least two pro-Trump groups have also been granted permits to organize over inauguration weekend. Those groups are the ANSWER Coalition and Bikers for Trump, and anyone who remembers the volatile election cycle should also recommend that the majority of the violence Americans saw was when Trump supporters and anti-Trump protesters collided.
— DonaldTrumpNews (@NewssTrump) January 10, 2017
Needless to say, anyone planning to be in Washington D.C. over inauguration weekend should plan plenty of extra time to get around and be ready to deal with intense security procedures. With all of the organized and possibly impromptu Trump inauguration protests expected to take place, it is possible that the city really could end up paralyzed.
[Featured Image by Scott Sonner/AP Images]