Protests at the 2013 Inauguration by Jo Freeman
There was less of everything at the 2013 inauguration than in 2009 – spectators, protests, and police. It was still a gargantuan event.
The Secret Service wrote the rules. It posted a long list of prohibited items which searchers removed if found. At the end of the day, the search tents were littered with piles of fruit, various food containers, sandwiches, bottles of liquids, confiscated backpacks, lost clothing – as well as anything which a security screener assessed as on the dangerous list.
Fewer national guard troops and outside police were brought in than in 2009. The Boy Scouts, some of whom were girls, handled a lot of functions previously done by uniformed personnel.
The protests were numerous, diverse and small. The National Park Service issued five permits for "first amendment activity" for Monday, January 21. Three were for spaces on Pennsylvania Ave. where only those who got up very early in the morning could get to their assigned spots, and only those in the parade, with bleacher tickets, or who were equally early risers, could see their signs, and then only if held up with cold hands. Among the prohibited items inside the security zone were "Supports for signs and placards." The other two permits were for a rally in Meridian Hill Park and an event in Dupont Circle. Other groups did their thing on Saturday and Sunday. Some didn’t bother with permits. Protestors ran the gamut from a church group which "hates fags," to anarchists, to opponents of "Israeli war crimes" to the DC government.
The District of Columbia government built a booth in front of its executive office building with a sign demanding "full democracy in DC." Fortuitously located right on the parade route, its message could not be missed by anyone in the parade or who had tickets to the Freedom Plaza bleachers across Pennsylvania Avenue. President Obama showed his support of DC aspirations by ordering that his limousine wear DC license tags imprinted with "taxation without representation."
Many different groups and people brought their issues to the march.
JVP believes that aid to Israel should be conditioned on Israel following international law.
Read Jo's article about additional inaugural protests.
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