Saturday, January 21

Inauguration Protesters and Police Clash on Washington’s Streets

"A spate of violence erupted on Friday in the nation’s capital, as protesters damaged storefronts, threw rocks and bricks at police officers and lit a limousine on fire. Phalanxes of police officers used pepper spray, flash grenades and other nonlethal crowd-control tools to disperse the protesters. By the end of the day, six police officers had sustained minor injuries and more than 200 people had been arrested. Many of the protesters were dressed in black, wore face masks and carried flags associated with anti-fascist groups. They congregated on a series of streets just blocks from the parade where Donald J. Trump passed as he made his way to the White House for the first time as president, their activities creating a distraction as television networks played live footage of the clashes. ..."
NY Times

Members of Occupy Museums #J20 outside the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Artists Reckon With Trump’s Inauguration
"Kelli O’Hara sang 'A Cockeyed Optimist.' Chita Rivera delivered 'America.' Four more Broadway stars belted out 'I’m a Woman,' and a larger group made melody with 'What the World Needs Now Is Love.' In one of countless displays of cultural counterprogramming to Inauguration Day across the country, Broadway’s biggest stars — a group generally disheartened by the election of Donald J. Trump — performed show-tunes-with-a-message on Friday afternoon at Town Hall in Manhattan to raise money for social justice organizations. With Mr. Trump celebrating the start of his presidency, the singers celebrated art as a comfort, an inspiration and a rallying cry for the coming months and years. ..."
NY Times

An illustration of a crowd in front of the White House during Andrew Jackson's first inaugural reception in 1829.
The Wild Inauguration of Andrew Jackson, Trump’s Populist Predecessor
"Seeking to portray Donald J. Trump as a man of the people, some of his closest advisers have said he is the natural successor to President Andrew Jackson, America’s architect of political populism. With crowds streaming into Washington for the inauguration on Friday, commentators and historians were harking back to the inauguration of the seventh president on March, 4 1829, when a crowd of thousands mobbed the Capitol building and the White House, representing to many at the time the danger of the mob run amok. Biographers, historians and Mr. Trump’s own confidants have not been shy about drawing parallels. ..."
NY Times

A Dark Inaugural"Politicians, preparing for inaugurals, scurry for their histories. The Republican Senator Roy Blunt, who welcomed the crowd to Donald Trump’s Inauguration, chose to commemorate the peaceful transitions of the late eighteenth century, when partisan tensions were high and the Republic might not have survived. The Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, speaking just before the new President, read at length from a letter that Sullivan Ballou, a Union officer, wrote to his wife: 'I know how strongly American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us.' In the faces just behind the new President and his family, viewers could detect the partisan zigzag of our recent political history: the Clintons, the Bushes, the Obamas.  ... This was a dark inaugural. The America Trump described was filled with victims: of 'inner city' poverty, of 'crime and drugs and gangs,' of 'rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation.' But even starker was how forcefully Trump compressed history. ..."
New Yorker