A protester points to the word “Fascist” on his sign while a Trump supporter fakes tears in response from inside a restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue. Demonstrators shouted and pressed signs against this window while those inside sipped champagne and watched. This continued until a woman got up and closed the blinds.
“I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear—“ With these words, the 45th President of the United States began the oath of office.
As President-Elect Trump’s voice boomed from speakers along Pennsylvania Avenue, a chant began to drown out his voice:
“The people united will never be defeated!”
“That I will faithfully execute,” Trump’s disembodied voice continued.
“THE PEOPLE UNITED,” demonstrators roared back.
“The office of President of the United States.”
“WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED!”
This was just one of many chants ringing out along the inauguration parade route in Washington D.C. Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Thousands of demonstrators filled up Navy Memorial Plaza, overflowing to sidewalks from 7th to 9th St. on Pennsylvania Avenue. The anti-Trump protest was organized by the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition.
Despite chilly temperatures and intermittent rain, protesters chanted and waved signs for hours before and after the inauguration.
A series of musicians and speakers took the mic, advocating for the rights of workers, immigrants, people of color, and members of the LGTBQIA community. One speaker, Greg Capillo from Lexington, Ky., represented the Kentucky Workers League. Capillo’s speech reminded demonstrators that resistance is not limited to big cities like D.C.
“Folks in Kentucky […] have a proud history of resistance,” Capillo said, “The organizers who are heirs to this tradition must love the people better than our politicians. We must serve the people and organize them to fight the power that we can plainly see exists only to exploit and steal from us.”
Walter Smolarek of the ANSWER Coalition gave an estimate of 5,000 protesters at Navy Memorial Plaza.
One protester, Angela Orend, 43, traveled from Louisville, Ky. to attend the demonstration. Orend is an adjunct sociology professor at the University of Louisville. "I teach about how to resist oppression," she said, "And I have a responsibility to demonstrate that resistance for my students."
The ANSWER Coalition protest was just one of many demonstrations throughout D.C. on inauguration day. While this protest was under way, thousands of demonstrators made their voices heard outside the fences and security checkpoints surrounding the Washington Convention Center and the parade route.
Will Hudgins raises his voice and his snack during the ANSWER Coalition inaugural protest in Washington D.C. Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Hudgins traveled from Seguin, Texas with his wife Daisy Luviano and their 13-month-old daughter Azelia to protest Donald Trump’s policies on education and immigration. “I fell in love with a Hispanic woman,” he said, “and our child should not have to suffer for that heritage.”
Protesters crowding the sidewalks of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Navy Memorial Plaza flip off Trump supporters as they wait for President Trump’s Inaugural Parade to begin Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 in Washington D.C.
Terry Perry, an anti-Trump protester from Pa., dances to a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” during the ANSWER Coalition’s protest of Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Protesters crowd the sidewalks of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the National Archives Building as they wait for President Trump’s Inaugural Parade to begin.
A young protester holds up a "Love Trumps Hate" sign on Pennsylvania Avenue sidewalk as the inaugural parade passes by Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.
Marlon MacAllister, 30, traveled from Philadelphia, Pn. to raise his voice against what he calls "the incipient rise of fascism." In explaining his sign, MacAllister said "America was not formed on glorious ideals that we can return to. It was founded on genocide and slavery."
A banner with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. hangs outside a home in Washington D.C. Friday, Jan 20, 2017, as inauguration events begin to wind down for the day. During inauguration weekend, D.C. was transformed by the influx of Trump supporters and protesters. This included the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators involved in the Women’s March on Saturday, Jan. 21 which challenged public transit records in the city.
Abby Potter is a photojournalism student based in Bowling Green, Ky.
Keep up with my visual and written journalism endeavors here!