Washington, D.C. – One day before the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, protesters converged on Washington, D.C. to broadcast their anger about a variety of issues that are becoming more visible with the upcoming administration about to take office.
11:00 A.M. FERC – A group formed in front of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) building demanding to be allowed into the meeting taking place inside. When refused entry, they then moved to the front entrance to hold their rally.
Unicorn Riot was there to livestream the event.
1:00 P.M. Evict the DNC – Unicorn Riot also livestreamed a group marching to the Democratic National Headquarters holding a 10-foot tall sign reading “Betrayal” and carrying signs made of mirror paper and messages to reflect their views onto the Democratic Party.
7:30 P.M. Disrupt the DeploraBall – Playing off of Hillary Clinton’s reference to a basket of deplorables, a group of Trump supporters and members of the far right held a celebration called the “DeploraBall” at the National Press Building. The event had conflicts in planning when one of the organizers, Tim Treadstone, made anti-Semitic comments on Twitter and was subsequently dis-invited.
At the start of the celebration, a large group had gathered and were booing anyone trying to enter the event, chanting “Shame” and “Nazi Scum”. Many more arrived outside the event and tensions ran high between the protesters, pro-Trump supporters, and police, who were protecting attendees as they moved through the crowd towards the entrance.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) January 20, 2017
A small bonfire was kindled from one of the red “Make America Great Again” hats that Trump supporters were wearing throughout the city.
We interviewed Daryle Lamont Jenkins, founder of the One People’s Project about why people were protesting this event:
Basically there’s a lot of neofascists that are in there, pretending that they’re not neofascists…a lot of people are referring to them as the alternative right or alt-right and I refuse to do that…A lot of people are angry that they got this far, but they’re not getting any farther.” – Daryle Lamont Jenkins
As the night went on, the confrontations increased, as attendees attempted to leave the event and continue down the block. Police were heavily armed and deploying pepper spray. Restaurant and bar patrons could be seen observing and recording on their phones the streams of pepper spray feet away from which they were separated only by glass windows.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) January 20, 2017
The opera singer in the video below was singing on the corner while pedicabs and pedestrians passed by. As inauguration-eve celebrations took place for some, city life was unabated for others, adding an eerie tone to the clashes taking place just half a block away.
The organizers of the DeploraBall made efforts prior to the event to distance themselves from the racism of white nationalists, insisting that the people attending are “new right”.
But while the Deploraball organizers worked to denounce white nationalism, others proudly boasted about subscribing to such views.A man who identifies himself as Devin Saucier and has ties to white nationalists said while he had nothing against Cernovich, the attempt to sanitize the movement from white identity politics was a mistake. Other partygoers identified themselves as members of the alt-right movement when asked by Business Insider.”
The disruption of the Deploraball set the tone for protesters expressing their resistance to Trump’s followers and presidency in #DisruptJ20 blockades and marches throughout the following day.
Watch the full livestream here. Please note due to cell phone signal congestion some of the stream images are pixelated.
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J20 Trial Coverage & More:
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- Jury Finds Six #J20 Defendants “Not Guilty” on All Charges - December 21, 2017
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- DC Mayor, Police Refuse to Release Financial Records of Trump Inauguration Investigation - January 17, 2018
- US Attorney Drops 129 Trump Inauguration Protest Cases, 59 Still Face Decades In Prison - January 18, 2018
- FERC Protest, Evict the DNC, & Disrupt the DeploraBall on the Eve of Trump’s Inauguration - January 23, 2017
- “No Peaceful Transition” for Trump as Thousands #DisruptJ20 in Washington, D.C. on Inauguration Day - January 27, 2017
- 214 Indicted on Felony Riot Charges for Protesting Trump Inauguration - March 15, 2017
- Anti-Racist Coalition Rallies Against Fascism and State Repression at DC Police HQ - June 25, 2017
- Protesters Face 80 Years as US Attorney Brings Unprecedented Mass Felony Charges (Includes Interview with Olivia, a Defendant) - June 29, 2017
- J20 Defendant Dane Powell Sentenced to Four Months in Federal Prison - July 7, 2017
- J20 Indictment Challenged in Motions Hearing; One Count Dismissed - July 28, 2017