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Thousands Protest Against Trump On Inauguration Day

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

During yesterday's inauguration ceremony, thousands of demonstrators hit the streets for all sorts of reasons.

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UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: I'm here because I believe this administration is indicative of the decay of capitalism.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: It's about the system. If Hillary had won, I would also be here.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: He lost the popular vote.

SIMON: NPR's Rebecca Hersher reports that protesters were united by one thing - they were not celebrating their new president.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS #1: (Chanting) Dump trump. Dump Trump...

REBECCA HERSHER, BYLINE: Protesters lined up at security checkpoints beginning nearly six hours before the president took the oath of office. At 1, the lines covered the length of two city blocks and were moving slowly.

SHERYL REESE: It's definitely an illegitimate election.

HERSHER: Sheryl Reese (ph) traveled from Olympia, Wash., for the inauguration and the Women's March.

REESE: You know, with the FBI letter that came out and it was designed for Hillary to lose and also misogyny. But I'm a radical, lesbian social worker, so of course I'm, you know, not happy about this.

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UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS #2: (Chanting) No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here. No hate...

HERSHER: David Beigel (ph) is from nearby Maryland. He says he thinks the president lacks a moral compass.

DAVID BEIGEL: If we don't start protesting right off the bat, he's going to start doing things to take away our freedoms and harm the people in this country.

HERSHER: Beigel and Reese both joined an anti-war group that had an official permit to protest along the route of the inaugural parade. As Donald Trump was officially sworn in, people there drowned him out.

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JOHN ROBERTS: Please raise your right hand and repeat after me. I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (Singing) (Unintelligible) Let me hear you.

HERSHER: Chris Winings (ph) of Clarksburg, Md., explained what he hopes to accomplish by protesting.

CHRIS WININGS: I do think that in the end he does care about what people think about him. If he sees a ton of people yelling at him, I think that might help, have something click in his mind.

HERSHER: Although most protesters were peaceful, a comparatively small group vandalized buildings and started fires. Police responded as WAMU's Patrick Madden reported live during NPR's election special.

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PATRICK MADDEN, BYLINE: A group of several hundred protesters all dressed in black who have been running through the streets and breaking windows, kicking over garbage cans, police have been chasing them.

HERSHER: The D.C. police say more than 200 people were arrested and six officers had minor injuries. But for the most part, across the city, the mood was peaceful, if tense. Even in areas where people there to protest mixed with people there to celebrate. Both gathered along the route of the inaugural parade to see the new president go by.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS #3: (Chanting) Not my president. Not my president...

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #3: Yes, he is.

HERSHER: Rebecca Hersher, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.