Black Lives Matter Protesters, Others Force Inauguration Checkpoint Shutdowns
WASHINGTON – Protesters from Black Lives Matter and other groups forced the shutdown early Friday morning of at least two inauguration security checkpoints, as demonstrators followed through on threats to disrupt President-elect Donald Trump’s inaugural ceremonies.
The Black Lives Matter protesters at first started chaining themselves to fences in front of a checkpoint near the Capitol, after which the Secret Service closed the gates and shut down the entrance.
“We are here to let people know this presidency is not legit. It goes against hundreds of years of democracy -- black lives matter,” BLM DC’s Tracye Redd told FoxNews.com.
The protest was mostly peaceful. At one point, the activists repeated the cry, "Shut it down!" Officers afterward were directing spectators to other entrances.
Another group temporarily forced the shutdown of a separate checkpoint nearby, as part of an operation apparently under the umbrella of DisruptJ20, which vowed to blockade and shut down security checkpoints.
The incidents come as Trump protesters and supporters alike descend on downtown Washington for the inauguration.
“I’m here to join Bikers for Trump,” said Bill McCann, who rode his motorcycle to the nation’s capital from Fort Worth, Texas. “Ever since Mr. Trump announced his candidacy, I’ve supported him 100 percent.”
McCann spoke under the light of the Capitol Rotunda as protesters with the anti-war group Jewish Voice for Peace rallied just blocks away, amid a heavy police presence.
“We’re here to say that whoever is president, ‘No more war,’ ” said Naomi Dann, of Brooklyn. “The incoming president hasn’t said whether he’s a pacifist, but I’m pretty sure he’s not.”
Dann said her concerns and those of other group members include “targeting Muslims” and increased surveillance.