Resistance to the Trump Administration could not be ignored today. Signs everywhere on the streets of downtown Washington D.C. made individual sentiment clear.
Already early in the morning Trump supporters and quiet visitors who wanted to experience an inauguration waited in lines to get past the high fenced walls created around the National Mall. As expected, police and secret service presence was intense. Blockades were also ubiquitous, shutting off most traffic from several blocks.
It also seemed as if much of downtown Washington D.C. was electric with resistors. We heard about the organized protests, but individuals took the day — standing on corners and walking streets holding all manner of anti-Trump signs. (Click on picture to see more)
CNN reported on the largest organized protest. I did not see what happened, I only arrived at the scene when protesters lingered in two crowds, police having separated them between an entire block and stood between them in full riot gear. I was able to interview one man who had been at the scene. He explained what happened while his voice was often drowned out by helicopters:
After most protesters had left the area (around 12th and 13th street), about three or four Trump supporters approached and wanted to know why the protesters didn’t support the President. The exchanges were fraught with high emotions, the riot police directly behind them. Both sides wanted to talk… or shout.
Suddenly, Vermin Supreme blared with a megaphone: “Martial Law has been declared.” He went up to the police and told them their services were no longer needed. The comedy provided relief from what had been a tense few hours.
Over at the National Press Club, Watch Us Run hosted a free event. Precisely when Trump was taking the oath of office, Michael Moore was giving a speech. At the precise moment, he encouraged everyone in the crowd to ROAR. Then he explained how citizens could take four steps to resist:
- Every morning after you have your cup of coffee, take two minutes to call your Congressman or Senator.
- Form an army of comedy. (Trump has a thin skin, criticizing Alec Baldwin because he hates to be teased.)
- Create “regions of resistance.” Your local communities can resist Trump’s policies in various ways.
- Individually, you will have to take a stand, speak out and put yourself on the line.
After Moore’s speech, a panel featured five women speaking on “How to build grassroots momentum.” Bob Bland, the co-chair of the Women’s March said she had never been an activist or organizer before this. Lucia McBath with Mothers of the Movement, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action said she became an activist when her son was shot and died.
Throughout the day within the city, people used humor as protest. Starting at 8am, a group created a cage to look like a prison at Dupont Circle and handed out marijuana joints.
The group Gays Against Guns found various locations and began to sing well known tunes such as “Oh, Say Can You See,” “Yankee Doodle,” and “America the Pitiful” with new lyrics such as: “This land’s not your land. This land’s not my land–From California to the New York Island. Whether we are Christians, or Jews or Muslims–This land was made for you and me.”
Tomorrow — the resistance continues.