Video and Livestream by Ford Fischer
Article and Photos by Alejandro Alvarez
From dawn to dusk on January 20th, thousands took to the streets in the nation’s capital to protest the inauguration of one of the most controversial political figures in recent memory – Donald Trump. For over 12 hours, News2Share producers Ford Fischer and Alejandro Alvarez followed a number of demonstrations – both peaceful and violent – broadcasting what they witnessed to the masses.
Protesters formed a line as part of their “Disrupt J20″ activities in Washington DC attempting to prevent anyone from crossing into or out of the inauguration. Police often intervened and only some who attempted to managed to make it through. Police made no arrests. One journalist was seriously injured amidst the violence and was carried away by police. She is confirmed to have dislocated her hip, and unconfirmed reports say she may have also broken her leg or gone into shock.
DisruptJ20, an independent grassroots effort billing itself as a resistance to the new administration, began gaining attention on social media soon after Trump’s shock election in early November. Endorsed by prominent figures on the left including Michael Moore, the number of people promising to attend one of the group’s more than dozen actions to disrupt the inauguration boomed into the thousands.
The main mission, according to DisruptJ20’s website, was simple: protest the new president’s political platform by loudly and publically preventing access to the inaugural parade route on January 20. There would be 12 individually-themed blockade actions covering every issue from climate change to labor rights – one for every Secret Service checkpoint along Pennsylvania Avenue.
In the early morning hours of Inauguration Day, that plan was put into action. At the security checkpoint on 12th Street, about 100 protesters managed to beat the bulk of the inauguration crowd organizing for minority and immigrant rights. A few blocks down, about 100 more danced and sang in the “Qockblockade Brigade,” clad with rainbow flags supporting the LGBT community.
As the morning went on, the 12 actions began to coalesce and concentrate their efforts on the more populated checkpoints. The News2Share team streamed from one of these flashpoints for much of the morning, where hundreds formed a human chain across 10th Street preventing anybody – Trump supporter or otherwise – from getting through to the checkpoint just behind.
Livestream by Ford Fischer
Though events at the checkpoint remained peaceful all morning, the mood was tense and the anger from both sides clearly palpable.
“Fuck you, fascist,” one man yelled, as he spat at a Trump supporter trying to make his way through the human barrier. “Don’t fucking touch me,” said another young main wearing a “Hillary for Prison 2016” shirt, as he forced his way through the chain.
Police intervened to escort several of the parade goers through the blockade. News2Share witnessed one couple being lifted by police over a momentary sit-in.
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