Those planning to attend the upcoming presidential inauguration for Donald Trump in Washington can expect a number of disruptions from protesters that follow in the footsteps of the upheaval and commotion that happened at George W. Bush’s 2001 and 2005 inaugurations.
The 2001 inauguration happened weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered Florida to stop recounting ballots, throwing the state of Florida into Bush’s electoral tally and winning the presidential election for Bush over Al Gore.
According to NBC News, protesters overwhelmed law enforcement at the inaugural parade route chanting, holding up signs, taking off their clothes, lying in the streets and even pelting Bush’s motorcade vehicle with an egg. The commotion outside of the automobile became so much to handle, organizers scrapped the traditional walk for the president from the car to the White House for fear that a riot would break out, ABC News reported.
Officers briefly detained several thousand protesters during Bush’s swearing-in. The largest number of protesters, according to Salon, was at Freedom Plaza, near the intersection of 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Hundreds of protesters gathered there chanting, “We won’t go back, send Bush back.” “U.S. Navy out of Vieques.” “Free Mumia.” “We want Bush out of D.C.” “Racist, sexist, anti-gay, Bush and Cheney go away!” “Georgie go home, Georgie go home.” “You’re not our president.”
The protests around Bush’s 2005 reelection were no less intense and focused mainly on the war in Iraq. Anarchists and pro-Bush demonstrators faced off and law enforcement repelled protesters through barriers with pepper spray. Demonstrators held mock coronations, chanted the names of those who died in the Iraq War, as well as scaled flagpoles and security barriers.
Washington, DC officials say they are expecting at least a million visitors to the capital for inauguration week. About 5,000 National Guard Troops will be activated along with local law enforcement. Protests are expected to start Wednesday night outside the Chevy Chase, Maryland, home of Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Additionally, a pro-Trump demonstration Thursday night will be held at the National Press Club.