WASHINGTON DC — A sprinkling of rain in the Capitol Friday morning made for a soggy start to Inauguration Day for the throngs who turned out to to National Mall to watch the swearing in of Donald J. Trump as president.
Security was ultra tight and street and Metro station closures vexed even veteran Washingtonians. Those with formal tickets to the ceremony went through two security screenings while walking through the Senate’s Rayburn Building to get to the seats just below the platform where Trump will take the oath of office around 11 a.m. ET.
At 930 a.m. sharp, the ceremony formally began with the National Cathedral Choir singing
“My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.”
A few blocks away from the pageantry in the Capitol, anti-Trump forces gathered in McPherson Square for what was billed as a “Festival of Resistance.” Various orgs had information and items for sale in display, ranging from Black Lives Matter DC to environmental and social justice groups and those opposed to the Dakota Access project pipeline. An unmistakable whiff of pot smoke surrounded the installations in the large white tent hastily erected in light of the rain.
Nick Atwell, a call center worker from Bend, Ore., was among those working in the area. He walked around with arms laden with T-shirts, one featuring an image of Trump and the message “Not my President” and another declaring “Michelle 2020.” Atwell said he was sent a plane ticket to Washington in exchange for spending the day selling T-shirts. “I wanted to be here,” he said. “It’s historic.”