Trump sworn in as president as protesters clash with police on DC streets

Donald Trump is sworn in as 45th President of the US while his wife, Melania Trump, witnesses.
Donald Trump is sworn in as 45th President of the US while his wife, Melania Trump, witnesses.

Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on Friday, as protesters clashed with police just a few miles away.

The ceremony took place in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC on Friday.

“Together we will determine the course of America and the world for many, many years to come,” Trump said in his inaugural speech. “We will face challenges, we will confront hardships, but we will get the job done.”

“For too many of our citizens,” he said, “a different reality exists: mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”

“We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs,” he continued, taking aim at immigration and international trade. “Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.”

He also pledged to unite the world against and eradicate “radical Islamic terrorism”.

Read Trump’s full speech over at the Washington Post.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath, witnessed by First Lady Melania Trump. Mike Pence was sworn in as Vice President a few minutes earlier. In attendance were former president George W. Bush and his wife Laura, former president Bill Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and former president Jimmy Carter. Absent were George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara. Both have been hospitalized in the last week.

Protests across the city

Meanwhile, several protests across the city turned violent. Before the inauguration, black-clad protesters smashed windows and threw rocks and bottles at officers, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

Multiple vehicles were set on fire, including a black limousine. Several people dragged garbage cans into the street and lit them on fire. Police in riot gear used pepper spray and stun grenades to keep the chaos from spilling into the formal balls and parade.

D.C. Police Interim Chief Peter Newsham said 217 people were arrested in connection with protests that turned violent. They will be held overnight before making court appearances on Saturday.

Not all protests were violent. Newsham said in a press conference that most protests in the city were nonviolent. Many simply marched or held signs.

Activist group DisruptJ20 blocked multiple security checkpoints earlier in the day, as did activists for Black Lives Matter. At another checkpoint, LGBT activists held banners and danced to Abba and Madonna while blowing whistles and throwing glitter.

The DCMJ, formerly known as the D.C. Cannabis Campaign, planned to hand out 4,200 joints before marching to the inauguration.

The protests continue tomorrow, with a massive Women’s March on Washington, with hundreds of thousands expected to take part. According to the Women’s March website, 673 marches are set to take place around the world, with an estimated 2.2 million people taking part.

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