In addition to the official festivities and balls, a number of groups will be demonstrating around the Jan. 20 inauguration. Most oppose the Donald Trump administration, though at least one is in favor and one claims neutrality. Here are some of the largest, in chronological order:
Franklin Square Park, I and K streets NW, between 13th and 14th streets; Jan. 19, 4-8 p.m.
What it is: An anti-Trump rally (permit pending) with speakers including former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and a variety of punk and hip-hop groups, organized by the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, Homes not Bombs, and the Revolutionary Road Radio Show.
Their message: “We want to express our concern about buildup of nuclear weapons, especially in light of the recent statements made by Trump and the continued, failed war on terror,” says Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign spokesman Bruce Wright. “In our own country, we have neglected the poor and homeless for the sake of war.”
If you go: The rally is part of an ongoing program of events set for Jan. 19-22, including a picnic and drum circle that Sunday at noon.
20th and P streets NW and then proceeding toward the National Mall; Jan. 20, 8 a.m.-4:20 p.m.
What it is: Local marijuana advocacy group DCMJ will begin handing out 4,200 free joints (which is legal under D.C. law) to protesters at 8 a.m. The group will begin marching (without a permit) toward the National Mall at 10 a.m. with plans to light up 4 minutes and 20 seconds into Trump’s speech.
Their message: “Trump has gone on record saying it’s up to states to decide on medical cannabis laws, but we’re not a state,” DCMJ co-founder Nikolas Schiller says. “We are trying to encourage President-elect Trump to support cannabis reform and push Congress to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. He has the power to create jobs, create tax revenue and help fix the broken criminal justice system.”
If you go: Bring your ID, because organizers will not pass out joints to anyone under 21, per D.C. law. Also note that this march can easily get you arrested if you choose to smoke in public (illegal under D.C. law) or simply possess marijuana on federal land, such as the National Mall (illegal under federal law).
Navy Memorial, 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW & Freedom Plaza, 1355 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; Jan. 20, 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
What it is: Organized by the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), this permitted protest will take place at two different spots on the inauguration parade route.
Their message: “Our goal is to say no to the Trump agenda,” ANSWER spokeswoman Sarah Sloan says. “We are standing with the communities most under attack by Trump and his incoming administration and Cabinet, including the Muslim community and immigrants. We’re calling out Trump as a racist and a sexist and a bigot and sending the message that people are going to stand up against him and his administration.”
If you go: Organizers advise showing up early to establish a strong, anti-Trump presence along the parade route. “We are going to have a stage with speakers and DJs, so there’s a lot going on all day,” Sloan says. Since this protest is within the secured area adjacent to the inauguration parade, all the usual parade route rules apply.
#DisruptJ20 Festival of Resistance
Union Station’s Columbus Circle, 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE; Jan. 20, noon-3 p.m.
What it is: Organized by the D.C. Counter-Inaugural Welcoming Committee, this march will parallel the inauguration parade route a few streets away. It will end at McPherson Square at around 2 p.m., followed by a rally until about 3 p.m.
Their message: “Establishment people say we need to ensure a peaceful transition of power at all costs,” says #DisruptJ20 organizer Legba Carrefour. “They value the continuity of the government over stopping a fascist. We are calling for a non-peaceful transition. We want to delegitimize this government and set the tone for the next four years.” That said, the march’s organizers have applied for a permit and the event should be peaceful, though other actions the group is planning aim to create chaos at security checkpoints. “We are going to make things a total clusterf—,” Carrefour says.
If you go: Consider attending a training session (on topics such as how to interact with police) before the event, or drop by the McPherson Square gathering space between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily beginning on Tuesday, Carrefour says.
Bikers for Trump Halftime Rally
John Marshall Park, Pennsylvania Avenue NW, between Fourth and Fifth streets; Jan. 20, 1 p.m.
What it is: A pro-Trump rally that will take place after the swearing-in and before the inauguration parade. “It’ll start with the Pledge of Allegiance, ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and a prayer,” Bikers for Trump founder Chris Cox says. The rally may also include speakers and performances, he says.
Their message: “It’s a ‘suck it up, buttercup’ kind of thing. We understand a lot of people are coming in to protest and they really need to get over it, because our country has spoken … and it’s time to move forward,” Cox says.
If you go: The rally is within the secured area, so arrive early, dress warmly and adhere to official regulations. And while this is a rally for motorcycle riders, you can’t actually bring your bike to the event.
Women’s March on Washington
Independence Avenue and Third Street SW; Jan. 21, 10 a.m.
What it is: The massive permitted gathering will begin with a rally — featuring celebrities like Amy Schumer, Katy Perry, Cher, America Ferrera and Uzo Aduba — and then turn into a march to the southern part of the Ellipse near the White House. “We are not a protest march,” says Jackie Savage, an organizer with the event’s D.C. chapter. “It is a peaceful march saying, ‘We are here. Hear our voice.’” That description may be useful information for any federal workers who want to join the march but are restricted from attending protests, she adds.
Their message: “We are marching to promote women’s equality and defend other marginalized groups,” Savage says, speaking for the D.C. chapter.
If you go: Visit their website for a list of allowed items and register in advance so organizers have an accurate head count.