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Inauguration Protests: Peaceful or Violent?

The 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, was sworn into office on Friday– but not without widespread protest. Protestors filled the streets of Washington D.C. Friday, some peaceful and some violent.  The not-so-peaceful protestors lit garbage pails aflame, threw objects through store windows, set a limousine on fire, and physically harassed Trump supporters who donned “Make America Great Again Hats." Police were forced to use tear gas when protesters hurled rocks and bottles at them. 217 people were arrested Friday according to officials. Six police officers were injured during the protest.

According to controversial right wing political commentator Tomi Lahren, the “loving left” were attacking Trump supporters. Lahren told TMZ, “I had folks with the black power symbol on the back of their hoodies track me down, try to pound on my cab door, jump on the hood of my cab, and try to bust the windshield out.” Lahren also stated the group told her they had “vowed to beat her ass.”

Junior Micky Wooten was also in our nation's capital for the inauguration. Wooten said the protesters were “definitely noticeable” but as a whole peaceful. However, Micky did encounter some non-peaceful protesters. Describing his experience to me: “A man who appeared to be in his thirties came up behind my dad with a red Trump hat in his hand, and held it above his head to give the impression that he had taken one of our hats. He then leaned towards me and my friend who were both wearing MAGA hats and yelled profane things about Trump, made rude comments about my dad’s weight, and called me a homophobic slur.”

Micky and his group realized the man was just trying to provoke them and walked toward the front door of a Starbucks. While they were heading there, more protesters joined in and yelled more profanities at them. As they were about to enter the Starbucks, the man got very close to Micky and called him a misogynistic slur. After they entered the Starbucks, the man stood by the door opening and slamming it shut until an employee yelled at him to leave. Micky did admit he was startled after this incident. The protesters also blocked multiple entrances to the mall, which made getting to the inauguration a nightmare. Tens of thousands of people had to wait in one line that stretched many streets to get to the mall. This backup caused Micky to miss the swearing-in ceremony. “Despite chanting provocative chants and holding vulgar signs, I respect their right to protest. I appreciate the fact most of them did not bother me,” Micky remarked.  Although there were violent acts displayed the day of the inauguration, peaceful protestors seemed to overshadow those wreaking havoc in Washington.

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