With just 8 days left until President Trump's inauguration ceremony in Washington D.C., a massive security force, including 7,500 Guardsmen and 3,000 police officers, is preparing for the worst as the event is expected to attract up to 750,000 protesters, some of whom have vowed to "paralyze the city." Certainly if the protester presence at the Senate confirmation hearings over the past two days is any indicator of what is to come, then next Friday should be an interesting evening.
More than three-dozen law enforcement agencies are working together on security and safety plans in anticipation, including the Capitol Police, FBI, Secret Service and National Guard.
Roughly 7,500 Guardsmen from across the country will come to Washington, along with about 3,000 police officers from various states, with the Secret Service taking the lead on security.
Essentially everybody involved already is rehearsing for the big weekend, which kicks off next Friday morning with the swearings-in on the Capitol’s West Front, followed by official events including the traditional parade on Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House and the inaugural balls.
The Joint Task Force -- National Capital Region -- 58th Presidential Inauguration has held several “table top” sessions in which agencies plot strategy over a large-scale, three-dimensional map.
“It’s a rehearsal, but in the military we call it a drill,” Navy Cmdr. Jonathan Blyth, the group’s spokesman, told FoxNews.com on Wednesday. “We’ve been preparing for this since the last inauguration. We’re focused to protecting and honoring a new commander in chief.”
Several anti-Trump groups are expected to host demonstrations on January 20th, including DisruptJ20 and RefuseFacism.org, with stated intentions to disrupt the inarguable ceremonies from the parade to the ball by using, among other tactics, human blockades to stop traffic, public transit and parties.
Several protest groups planning large-scale demonstrations have permits in place and have already held organizational meetings, among them the collaborative DisruptJ20.
“We’re planning a series of massive, direct actions that will shut down the inauguration ceremonies and any related celebrations,” the group says. “We’re also planning to paralyze the city.”
Organizers say they are targeting everything from the parade to the balls and plan to use blockades and protesters to stop traffic, public transit and parties.
The group RefuseFacism.org is planning a small-scale protest Saturday in the city’s McPherson Square, just blocks from the White House, that organizers hope will grow into larger inauguration-weekend protests.
The group burned U.S. flags this summer at the Democratic and Republican national conventions and this week tried to disrupt the Senate confirmation hearing for Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions to become Trump’s attorney general.
“I wouldn’t want to meet with [Trump], but I would say to him, ‘You’re a fascist. Your regime is illegitimate.’ And it must not be allowed to take power,” the group’s Carl Dix told Fox on Wednesday on Capitol Hill. Dix acknowledged the group doesn’t have a federal or city permit to protest but still intends to “stop the regime.”
Of course, the one pro-Trump organization that has registered for a demonstration permit is the now infamous "Bikers for Trump" group. And while we're sure they're only interested in peacefully supporting their candidate, we would highly recommend that the disaffected Hillary snowflakes stay far away from their reserved demonstration area.
Meanwhile, the protesting madness is expected to continue the day after inauguration with 200,000 women expected to join the Women’s March on Washington. The event is expected to draw the typical Hollywood crowd, including Amy Schumer, who was supposed to have left the country by now, and Scarlett Johansson.
We wish all the protesters the best of luck, we're sure your efforts will truly make a positive difference in the world.