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Elyse goes to the inauguration…

January 28, 2017, 8:24 PM

Sometimes, it’s fun to live vicariously.  Such is what happened on Inauguration Day.  I had to work, and so I spent my Inauguration Day mostly doing support work to help keep trains moving.  However, Elyse came down to DC to see what she could see as far as inauguration-related activities went.  She and mutual friend Dave went out to see what was going on, and I was able to follow along through frequent updates sent to me on Facebook Messenger.  Though this was not intentional, she did a photo shoot in a similar way that I shoot an event that I’m not directly involved in.  The official festivities were kind of “meh” (though she did watch the swearing-in live on television, which I didn’t get to do), but she kept up with a lot of the activism.

I admit: I have more or less hung up my activism hat, having not participated in a political demonstration in a very long time. I stopped doing black blocs in October 2010 after a pair of disastrous demonstrations soured me on the tactic, and I haven’t been to a political demonstration of any kind since August 2013.  However, I still cheer on and support my friends who are still involved in it, even if I haven’t done it myself in years, and in fact, a number of my activist friends helped organize some of the protests that occurred in DC.  So I was delighted to get these updates from Elyse, as well as from elsewhere on Facebook and the Twitter, to see what was up while I was at work.

After I got off of work, Elyse came over and we looked at her take from the day, and the photos were quite good.  She also gave me permission to run some of them on Schumin Web, and so hopefully you can live vicariously through Elyse as well, as people came to DC to protest Donald Trump on the occasion of his inauguration.

First, Elyse caught up with some demonstrators at Columbus Circle, which is in front of Union Station.

Love the sentiment here. Also note the fix over what was most likely a misprint on the original sign.
Love the sentiment here.  Also note the fix over what was most likely a misprint on the original sign.

Jersey barriers became a makeshift dumping ground for drink cups and bottles. As I understand it, people couldn't bring any sort of items into the secure area with them, so this became a place to set down the drinks that they couldn't take with them. You have to wonder about the person who barely touched their Diet Coke before abandoning it, though...
Jersey barriers became a makeshift dumping ground for drink cups and bottles.  As I understand it, people couldn’t bring any sort of items into the secure area with them, so this became a place to set down the drinks that they couldn’t take with them.  You have to wonder about the person who barely touched their Diet Coke before abandoning it, though…

As in past years, Metrobuses were used as street barricades. This particular bus, 6017, normally operates on routes in Montgomery County.
As in past years, Metrobuses were used as street barricades.  This particular bus, 6017, normally operates on routes in Montgomery County.

Then more demonstrators in the street:

The person with the Trump cutout totally nailed it with the "SAD!" part.
The person with the Trump cutout totally nailed it with the “SAD!” part.

Two takes on Trump's uncomfortably close connections to Russia.

Two takes on Trump's uncomfortably close connections to Russia.
Two takes on Trump’s uncomfortably close connections to Russia.

Elyse also caught up with the black bloc, which definitely stole the show as far as coverage went.  She caught one of several trash cans being set on fire.

Trash can on fire.

Lighter fluid being used as an accelerant.

The trash can, on fire.

Close-up of the burning trash can.

Close-up of the burning trash can.

The trash can, buckling as its contents burn.

The crowd surrounding the burning trash can at Franklin Square.

The trash can, now almost completely consumed.

Wow.  Because of this, when Elyse got to my house later on, she smelled strongly of burnt paper.

Meanwhile, I still don’t understand what setting a trash can on fire does for the cause.  Ultimately, this costs the DC government money to dispose of and replace the trash can, and I’d bet that most of the demonstrators here have little, if any, beef with the local DC government.  Their beef is with the federal government, which this trash can has nothing to do with.

The crowd in the street at Franklin Square.
The crowd in the street at Franklin Square.

These sorts of signs always get me, because it's a reminder that we unfortunately haven't progressed as much as we would like to think that we have.
These sorts of signs always get me, because it’s a reminder that we unfortunately haven’t progressed as much as we would like to think that we have.

Holding a "4 Years To Fight" sign in front of a row of police in riot gear.
Holding a “4 Years To Fight” sign in front of a row of police in riot gear.

Another overturned trash can near Franklin Square, with a sign stuck in it. The interior container is the same as the one that was set on fire.
Another overturned trash can near Franklin Square, with a sign stuck in it.  The interior container is the same as the one that was set on fire.

A small trail of destruction, with the burned out limousine in the background.
A small trail of destruction, with the burned out limousine in the background.

The burning of the limousine leaves me unsettled.  I get that it’s representative of the 1%.  However, the people who are most harmed by the burning of the limousine are people who are trying to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.  And in this case, the owner of the limo was a Muslim immigrant.

Otherwise, though, I still fail to understand what this trail of destruction accomplishes.

And lastly…

Sign making fun of a controversy where inauguration staff taped over the logo of local company Don's Johns, presumably because of Donald Trump's first name, and reports about Trump's sexual preferences that had recently come out.
Sign making fun of a controversy where inauguration staff taped over the logo of local company Don’s Johns, presumably because of Donald Trump’s first name, and reports about Trump’s sexual preferences that had recently come out.

All in all, I was delighted to see these photos of the inauguration.  It reminded me of my own inauguration protest experience in 2005 and so much other activism from years past.  And, coupled with the Women’s March the following day, it’s good to see such vocal resistance to Donald Trump and his beliefs.  This is going to be a very rough four years with Donald Trump in the hot seat, and so this enthusiasm need to be kept up, in order to wrest the House and Senate from Republican control in 2018, and the White House in 2020.