Massive Security at Trump’s Inauguration

Police forces in a street leading to the US Capitol buildingPolice forces in a street leading to the US Capitol building

Tens of thousands of security officials were deployed in Washington, DC, on Friday, as the capital braced for almost a million people flooding in to either celebrate or protest against the swearing-in of Donald Trump as president.

Washington turned into a virtual fortress with miles of barriers set up and a heavy police presence deployed ahead of the inauguration. Some 900,000 people–both Trump supporters and protesters–were in the capital, according to estimates by organizers, France24 reported.

Some 28,000 security officers, several miles of barriers and roadblocks, and dump trucks laden with sand were part of a security cordon set up around a 3-square-mile (almost 8-square-km) section of central Washington on Friday.

Inaugural events included the swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the US Capitol building and a parade to the White House down streets thronged with spectators. Police cars lined much of the parade route on Pennsylvania Avenue ahead of the inauguration, as workers erected barricades and marked off pavement with tape. The inauguration’s crowd is expected to fall short of the 2 million people who attended Obama’s inauguration in January 2009. Rain forecast for Friday in Washington may also dampen turnout.

But the number of protests planned for Friday far exceeds what has been seen at other presidential inaugurations, with some 30 permits granted in Washington alone for anti-Trump rallies. Other protests are planned in US cities from Boston to Los Angeles and even abroad, including London and Sydney.

Those opposed to Trump have been angered by his campaign rally comments about Muslims and illegal immigrants, as well as his vow to scrap President Barack Obama’s healthcare law and build a border wall to keep out Mexicans.

Police say they will be ready to step in to separate protesters from Trump supporters at any sign of confrontation.


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