Security planning and preparations for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump have been underway for months and will likely cost more than $100 million. In addition to the usual range of threats, officials from federal, state and local agencies are preparing this year for a record number of protests aimed at disrupting the ceremony and registering disapproval of Trump’s presidency. Government officials are planning for a crowd upwards of one million people.
Protests for this inauguration are likely to be larger than any seen at an inauguration since the Vietnam War era. Law enforcement has tallied 99 groups planning actions for the inaugural period, to include 63 on Inauguration Day. The largest demonstration expected over inaugural weekend is the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, January 21st, in which 400,000 to 500,000 protesters are expected to participate. #DisruptJ20 is a group that has publicly stated they plan on interrupting the inaugural events with direct actions, such as blocking road and rail entrances to and within Washington DC. Bikers for Trump, a pro-Trump motorcycle group with roughly 200,000 members, recently vowed to form a “wall of meat” to keep inauguration protesters at bay. For security officials, the presence of protesters and potential clashes between groups for and against Trump add to the threat level of the inauguration.
Security teams will be deployed at full capacity. More than three dozen law enforcement agencies are working together on the inauguration security plans, to include the Capitol Police, FBI, Secret Service and National Guard. Approximately 30,000 law enforcement officials will be deployed throughout the city by Friday, January 20th, including 3,200 police officers from departments across the country and about 8,000 members of the National Guard.
Authorities will begin enforcing a series of “soft” and “hard” perimeters around much of downtown DC early Friday. Dump trucks, cement trucks and other heavy objects will be used to erect a barricade along the innermost perimeter to prevent against the possibility of an attack by a large vehicle driven into the crowd, like recent terrorist incidents in Berlin and Nice, France. Roads surrounding the Capitol, The White House, the National Mall and sites hosting other inaugural events will be closed beginning early Thursday, January 19th.
A small number of DC metro stations, near the National Mall, at the convention center and outside the Pentagon, will be closed for the inauguration. All other DC metro lines will be running at near rush-hour levels on Friday. Additional trains will be added Saturday to accommodate demonstrators. Also, five of DC’s largest hospitals have been put on alert in case of potential casualties. Medical staff at each has been asked not to schedule elective surgeries on Friday to keep as many beds open as possible.
Besides the threat from protests, intelligence agencies are scanning for a wide range of potential threats, such as cyber attacks to homegrown violent extremism to foreign plots. Of particular concern are the threats of self-radicalized, lone wolf terrorists inspired by Islamic terrorist groups, such as with the recent attacks in Ft. Lauderdale, Berlin and Nice, France. Additionally, a team of Secret Service agents will be monitoring cyber threats and protecting critical computer systems and networks against targeted attacks that could disrupt the inauguration. However, intelligence agencies have said that they know of no credible threat to the inauguration or surrounding events at this time.
Below is a schedule of notable Inauguration Day protests, Friday, January 20th
* Events are listed in local time
- Trump Inauguration Protest, Carnegie Library Park, Phoenix, 6:00am
- Bridge Together Golden Gate, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, 10:00am
- United Against Hate, Olympic and Figueroa, Los Angeles, 11:00am
- Fight Racism, Defend Immigrants, UN Plaza, San Francisco, 5:00pm
- Making a Change Millennial Festival, Denver Capitol Building, Denver, 1:30pm
- Inauguration Day Protest, Bayfront Park Amphitheater, Miami, 6:00pm
- Inauguration Day Protest, Lake Eola Park, Orlando, 6:00pm
- Chicago Trump Tower March, Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago, 5:00pm
- NOLAJ20, Duncan Park in City Hall Plaza, New Orleans, 3:00pm
- Resist Trump: Occupy Inauguration Boston!, Boston Common’s Parkman Bandstand, 6:00pm
- NYC Stand Against Trump: Inauguration Day Rally & March, Foley Square, 5:00pm
- Anti-Inauguration Ball, DiMenna Center for Classical Music, 7:00pm
- What a Joke: A Stand Up Benefit For The ACLU, Annoyance Theater, 8:00pm
- The Anti-Inauguration, Lincoln Theatre, 8:00pm
- The UNaugural Ball, Bowery Hotel, 9:00p
- Trump Inauguration Protest, CCB Plaza, Durham, 5:30pm
- Anti-Trump Protest, Cleveland Public Square, Cleveland, 5:00pm
- Inauguration Day Protest, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland, 4:00pm
- Resist Trump!, Thomas Palne Plaza, Philadelphia, 3:00pm
- Silent Inauguration, Centennial Park Band Shell, Nashville, 12:00pm
- #J20 Anti-Trump March, Lake Cliff Park, Dallas, 3:00pm
- One Resistance, Austin, Auditorium Shores, Austin, 5:00pm
- Houstonians of Muslim Descent Dissent, Walter’s Downtown, Houston, 8:00pm
- Resist Trump: Occupy Inauguration, Westlake Park, Seattle, 5:00pm
- #NotMyPresident, U.S. Capitol Building, 12:00am
- #J20 Resist, Union Station, 10:00am (march to White House at 10:00am)
- InaugurateTheResistance, Freedom Plaza, 7:00am
- The Inaugural #Trump420, Dupont Circle,8:00am
- It’s Going Down, Logan Circle, 10:00am
- March on the Inauguration, Malcom X Park, 10:00am
- Rally for Humanity, Martin Luther King National Memorial, 10:00am
- #DisruptJ20, McPherson Square, 2:00pm