Protesting the Inaugural
Reactions from Washington, D.C. on January 20th
Protesting the inauguration of a President has become a tradition. While those who shouted “not my President” and other things as Donald Trump ascended to the highest office in the land clearly did not like him, most of them would have demonstrated had it been Hillary Clinton who took the oath.
The inauguration, like the nominating conventions the summer before, is a soapbox because it attracts so much press looking for stories. This gives protesters a national voice for their issue that they usually don’t have. Unfortunately, these issues are often obscured when a small number choose to destroy property. That’s what happened in DC on January 20 late in the day while the inaugural parade was proceeding up Pennsylvania Ave. A small group broke windows, threw bricks, and burned a limousine on K St., well outside the security zone. This got most of the press, pushing other issues out of the headlines and to the bottom of the coverage.
The day began with a smoke-in in front of a bank at Massachusetts Ave.and 20th St. where DCMJ was handing out joints made from legally grown cannabis. This is legal in DC under certain conditions. DCMJ wants to make legalization national. I saw about 200 people gathered at that location, where a couple dozen stood in line to show their ID and get a joint. Three people in a cage made to look like a jail were handing them out, with a sign aimed at Attorney General-to-be Jeff Sessions, who wants to keep it a crime. They planned to march to the Mall at 10:00 but I didn’t hang around to watch them do it. The Mall is federal territory where they were subject to arrest, but I didn’t hear what happened.