As Donald Trump took the oath of office, six protesters stood up, raised their fists and began shouting the preamble to the Constitution, which begins, “We the people.” Their shirts together spelled “R-E-S-I-S-T.”
The group was removed from the ticketed “Teal” section by authorities, shouting “USA! USA!” while they went.
As she was led away, a female protester said, “We’re for an America for all of us.”
Some in the crowd sang, “Na na na na, say hey, good bye.”
People behind the protesters had yanked chairs from underneath them, causing many of them to fall.
“Their platform was removed from them. All went boom,” said Peter Ascherl, 64, who works as a a service center manager in Secaucus, N.J., and was seated nearby.
Another witness, Susan Gessler, 63, of Fayetteville, Ark., said, “It was quite comical when they pulled the chairs out from under them.”
But she and others were annoyed. “It just ruined [the moment] for people who paid a lot of money and worked hard to make Donald Trump president,” said Gessler, who was Trump’s campaign chair in Washington County, Arkansas.
One of the protesters returned to his seat, escorted by two Capitol Police officers, to retrieve belongings left there. Kai Newkirk said the protest was organized by the group Democracy Spring.
U.S. Capitol Police said they removed eight people for “illegal demonstration activity” but did not arrest them.
— Robert McCartney and Kayla Epstein