Protests, anti-Trump events offer inauguration alternative
Trump’s inauguration will be met
with resistance from protesters hailing from across the
Rallies, protests and marches will be
erupting throughout Washington, D.C., as Trump is officially
sworn into office on Friday.
Here’s a list of events happening
before, during and after the inauguration ceremony:
Jan. 19: The Day Before the Inauguration
Andy Shallal, the owner of D.C.’s popular
Busboys and Poets restaurants, is holding The Peace
Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance on the eve of
Inauguration Day. The sold-out event will run from 8 p.m. to
1 a.m. at the recently opened National Museum of African
American History and Culture.
Rather than billing the Peace Ball as a
directly anti-Trump event, its invitation describes it as an
opportunity to “celebrate the accomplishments and successes
of the past four years” and reflect on the future.
Singers Solange and Esperanza Spalding
will headline the ball. Other notable attendees include
actress Ashley Judd, actor Danny Glover and celebrity chef
José Andrés. Trump and Andrés are currently embroiled in a
lawsuit sparked after Andrés pulled out of a planned
restaurant for Trump’s D.C. hotel over Trump’s rhetoric
about undocumented immigrants.
Jan. 20: Inauguration Day
Hours prior to Trump being sworn in as the
45th president, the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and
End Racism) Coalition is holding a protest —
starting at 7 a.m. at the Navy Memorial — that hopes to
attract tens of thousands of protesters to push back against
ANSWER’s website describes the rally as a
“massive demonstration” along Pennsylvania Avenue with
“progressives” coming to D.C. from around the country.
ANSWER has called Trump a “racist, sexist bigot.”
ANSWER has been vocal in its criticism of
Trump over the past few months. In October, it helped
organize a protest against Trump’s “bigotry” outside his
advocates are also planning to come out in force on
DCMJ, a local group that led D.C.’s
marijuana legalization effort in 2014, says it will dole out
4,200 joints on the morning of inauguration at 8 a.m. in the
Dupont Circle neighborhood. While it’s legal for D.C.
residents to smoke marijuana in private, it is still illegal
to consume in public.
Four minutes and 20 seconds into the Trump
presidency, organizers will tell participants to light up
Trump has previously said it should be a
state’s right to decide whether to legalize marijuana, but
he has not said whether he supports legalization. Trump has,
however, said he backs medical marijuana.
But local organizers said
Sessions (R-Ala.), Trump’s
nominee for attorney general, is the main target of the
protest. Sessions is a staunch opponent of legalizing
Those joints came at a cost, though. All
that work on the marijuana grinder meant blisters for the
activists, the website DCist reports.
DisruptJ20: A group of
D.C. organizers have planned a week of events aimed to shut
down the inauguration and “paralyze the city itself” through
blockades and marches, according to its website.
The group has already
held an LGBT dance party outside of Vice President-elect
Mike Pence’s home in the Chevy
An organizer told the Guardian that the
protests would have happened regardless of the 2016 election
outcome, but “it took on a whole new meaning” in light of
Trump’s surprising victory.
On Friday, the group will hold its
“Festival of Resistance” from Columbus Circle to McPherson
Square from noon to 5 p.m. They will hold a coordinated
march and rally with “Occupy Inauguration.”
Jan. 21 : The Day After the
The Women’s March on Washington
will cap off a busy week of protests and rallies.
The march, which is expected to draw up to
200,000 participants, will begin at 10 a.m. on Independence
Avenue and 3rd Street SW. There will also be hundreds of
other sister marches nationwide held in solidarity.
Celebrities are also expected to be a
large presence at the march. Feminist icon Gloria Steinem
was named an honorary co-chair, along with singer and civil
rights activist Harry Belafonte.
Other notable attendees are singers Cher
and Katy Perry, comedian Amy Schumer and actresses Scarlett
Johansson, Uzo Aduba and America Ferrera.
Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.), who is
boycotting Trump’s inauguration, said he will attend the
march with his wife and daughter.
Four Women for All Women,
a 252-mile run from Harlem in New York City to D.C. that
began on Wednesday, will join the Women’s March on Saturday
in the nation’s capital. The run is raising money for
Planned Parenthood, which Republican leaders plan to defund
as a part of an ObamaCare repeal.
The Women’s March comes one week before
the annual March for Life on Jan. 27. Trump’s incoming White
House counselor, Kellyanne Conway, plans to attend the
A three-day festival starting the day
before the inauguration is hoping to provide some comic
relief amid a partisan time.
“What a Joke” is a
nationwide comedy festival that will have stand-up comedy
performances in five D.C. locations and in cities nationwide
— and across the pond in England. The proceeds will go to
the American Civil Liberties Union.
According to DCist, they will sell Trump’s
signature red hats, but with “Make America Great Again”
replaced with “What a Joke.”
The D.C. organizers told the online
publication that while they don’t expect the festival to
bring immediate change to Congress, they still want the
performances to celebrate unity and diversity.
“We want people to come out and to realize
that there is a community of people who probably feel the
way they do, and want to find a way to spend their time
constructively but not so seriously or heavy,” one organizer
Trump unleashes Twitter attack against Civil Rights Legend
Donald Trump tore into civil rights legend John Lewis on Saturday for questioning the legitimacy of the Republican billionaire's White House victory, intensifying a feud with the black congressman days before the national holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr.
Trump tweeted that Lewis, D-Ga., "should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results."
The incoming president added: "All talk, talk, talk - no action or results. Sad!"
Lewis, among the most revered leaders of the civil rights movement, suffered a skull fracture during the march in Selma, Alabama, more than a half-century ago and has devoted his life to promoting equal rights for African-Americans.
The weekend clash highlighted the sharp contrast between how many African-Americans view Trump's inauguration compared with Barack Obama's eight years ago
It also demonstrated that no one is immune from scorn from a president-elect with little tolerance for public criticism. Trump has found political success even while attacking widely lauded figures before and after the campaign — a prisoner of war, parents of a slain U.S. soldier, a beauty queen and now a civil rights icon.
Lewis, a 16-term congressman, said Friday that he would not attend Trump's swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol next Friday. It would mark the first time he had skipped an inauguration since joining Congress three decades ago.
"You know, I believe in forgiveness. I believe in trying to work with people. It will be hard. It's going to be very difficult. I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president," Lewis said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" set to air Sunday.
"I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton," Lewis said.
Lewis' spokeswoman, Brenda Jones, declined to respond to Trump and said the lawmaker's "opinion speaks for itself."
"We as a nation do need to know whether a foreign government influenced our election," she said.
U.S. intelligence agencies have said that Russia, in a campaign ordered by President Vladimir Putin, meddled in the election to help Trump win. After spending weeks challenging that assessment, Trump finally accepted that the Russians were behind the election-year hacking of Democrats. But he also emphasized that "there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines."
Democrat Clinton received 2.9 million more votes than Trump but lost the Electoral College vote.
Lewis' Democratic colleagues quickly came to his defense Saturday.
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif, said he too would skip Trump's inauguration: "For me, the personal decision not to attend the inauguration is quite simple: Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis."
The Democratic Party of Georgia called on Trump to apologize to Lewis and the people of his district.
"It is disheartening that Trump would rather sing the praises of Vladimir Putin than Georgia's own living social justice legend and civil rights icon," state party spokesman Michael Smith said.
Trump continued to jab Lewis on Saturday night, charging that the congressman "should finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner-cities of the U.S."
"I can use all the help I can get!" Trump tweeted.
Yet the president-elect's assertion that Lewis' district is "falling apart" and "crime infested" is hard to prove.
Georgia's 5th Congressional District includes the Atlanta metro region, which is considered one of the nation's fastest-growing areas. Its crime and poverty rates are higher than the national average.
Crime statistics for the specific district are not measured by the federal government. Atlanta officials have reported a significant drop in crime in recent years, although they created a gun violence task force last year to address an increase in murders.
The district has an 8.2 percent unemployment rate, and the median household income is about $48,000, according to the Census Bureau.
The area covers part of the upscale Atlanta neighborhood of Buckhead, along with the headquarters for Fortune 500 companies such Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines, Emory University, Georgia Tech, several historically black colleges and universities and the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, one of the world's busiest.
The dispute may be helping sales of Lewis' books.
Lewis' defenders have been urging Twitter followers to buy the congressman's books, a strategy apparently succeeding. By Saturday night, a bound collection of Lewis' "March" trilogy, graphic memoirs for young people about his civil rights activism, was No. 1 on Amazon. A more traditional memoir by Lewis, "Walking with the Wind," was No. 2.
Last fall, the third of Lewis' "March" books, on which he collaborated with Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, won the National Book Award in the young people's literature category.
Associated Press writers Pamela Sampson and Don Schanche in Atlanta contributed to this report.