As Americans prepare to welcome Donald Trump as their 45th President, a large number of protesters gathered in the national capital to voice their anger and hold demonstrations against what they alleged the divisive policies of the new administration.
At one of those protest outside the National Press Club, the police had to use pepper spray to disperse people who had gathered against what it called “the Alt-Reich” outside “DeploraBall” inside the building. Police had to use pepper spray as some of the protesters set off smoke devices in the middle of the crowd.
“Impeach the predatory president,” read one of two messages projected onto the building’s façade, according to NBC News. One of the protesters burned a Trump hat, it said.
Anti-Trump signs and banners were seen even early in the morning as thousands of his supporters made their way to the US Capitol this morning.
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Thank you for joining us at the Lincoln Memorial tonight- a very special evening! Together, we are going to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! pic.twitter.com/5d774OCx5o
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2017
“They are white supremacist fascists,” a volunteer Desba Rojas was quoted as saying by The Los Angeles Times.
Rojas said her goal was “to stop them from getting into office, and if they get into office, sopping them before they can consolidate” power.
A large number of left protesters under the banner of DisruptJ20 planned a march towards the inauguration venue and display anti-Trump sign along the parade route. So did another antiwar and anti-racism group.
Ahead of the inauguration, Pew Research center in its latest survey said the public sees a country deeply fractured along partisan lines.
The national survey found finds that fully 86 per cent describe the country as more politically divided today than in the past, while just 12 per cent say the US is no more divided.
Several dozen lawmakers including Indian-American Pramila Jayapal have decided against attending Trump’s inauguration.
Outgoing US President Barack Obama did not comment on his party lawmakers boycotting the inauguration.
However, the Trump Transition Team said there is a nationwide enthusiasm for the new president, which is evident of thousands of people converging to the US Capitol. Protesters told the media that they fear a different kind of government now.
“The alt-right’s vision for this country is not the one that we need. I’m out here tonight because I want to be part of the resistance efforts happening this week, and the resistance that’ll be happening the next four years,” Sarko Sarkodie, 26, who lives in Washington, told CNN.