The inauguration weekend that began with the swearing-in of President Donald Trump developed into one of the most politically charged periods in recent memory, with protests, counter-protests, and even cannabis-fuel demonstrations that all heralded the dawn of a new political era in the United States.
The inauguration ceremony
President Donald J. Trump was sworn into office at noon on Friday, becoming the 45th president of the United States after winning a divisive general election campaign.
In his inaugural address, Trump promised a strong break with the previous administration’s approach and policies.
America will start winning again, winning like never before. We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.
President Trump entered office with historically low favorability ratings, with most polls showing him measuring between 32 – 42 percent favorability amongst the general public.
Meanwhile, during Trump’s inaugural address, a group of cannabis activists in the Capitol decided to take matters into their own hand.
The activists – organized by DCMJ, a DC-based pro-cannabis community – distributed over 9,000 free joints around Dupont Circle, a popular and busy DC landmark. The giveaway event was dubbed #Trump420.
Then, at exactly four minutes and twenty seconds into Trump’s speech, the activists lit up.
According to the group’s co-founder, Adam Eidinger, activists of all political stripes turned out to support the effort.
The morning went great; it was very peaceful… We had a lot of Trump supporters, who were mixed in with those who weren’t there to support Trump. But nobody was fighting; it was like a Norman Rockwell painting.
The group also noted on its Twitter account that the demonstration remained peaceful and nonviolent throughout.
— DCMJ (@DCMJ2014) January 22, 2017
The gathering even featured an appearance from a giant cannabis leaf called Hempy, who is aligned with Delaware NORML. Hempy, in an interview, likened the growing of cannabis to the growing of produce.
It’s a plant… And I feel that if you can grow tomatoes, why can’t you grow cannabis, you know?
Cannabis has been legalized in the District for recreational use, though it remains illegal at the federal level.
On Saturday, the day after the inauguration, millions of protestors gathered in cities around the globe to join Women’s March protests.
The main protest – which took place in Washington, D.C. – garnered around 500,000 participants. Experts estimate that that number roughly tripled the turnout registered at President Trump’s inauguration.
Protests were also held in such cities as New York City (which reportedly attracted over 400,000 protestors,) Berlin, Cape Town, Paris, London, and Nairobi, among many others.
Press Secretary gives “alternative facts”
Following the inauguration, the newly-minted president fumed that members of the media had downplayed the size of the crowd in attendance, saying that up to 1.5 million people had attended the inauguration ceremony despite a preponderance of evidence to the contrary.
Then, on Saturday, as demonstrators swarmed the Capitol, Trump’s new press secretary, Sean Spicer, led a press briefing in which he angrily upbraided the press for ignoring the size of the inaugural crowd.
This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe… That’s what you guys should be writing and covering.
Spicer then went on to incorrectly comment that ridership of the D.C. metro during the day of the Trump inauguration than that of the Obama inauguration eight years ago.
Following Spicer’s press briefing, Kellyanne Conway, the president’s counselor, and former campaign manager, defended Spicer’s comments.
You’re saying it’s a falsehood, and they’re giving – Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that.