Inauguration Photos by Jo Freeman
The inaugural parade starts at the Capital Building and ends after passing the White House. It took two months to construct two reviewing stands, on either side of Pennsylvania Ave.
The day before the Inauguration was also Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and in keeping with the tradition of non-violent protest it was one last chance to protest Bush #43. When George W. Bush made his last trip to Iraq a reporter with Cairo-based network Al Baghdadia Television threw his shoes at the President – the supreme insult in that culture. Muntadar al-Zaidi became something of a culture hero to everyone who opposed the invasion of Iraq; throwing shoes at Bush images became popular all over the world.
Lafayette Park was transformed into a maze of security fences and zones. There was a VIP zone around the reviewing stand; a press zone; a public zone and a protest zone. I saw the entrances to three, but was only able to get into the last two.
The Mall was packed with people who came to see the inauguration on giant jumbotrons erected at intervals. Unless one got there early, you couldn’t even get a good viewing spot from which to see the screens. Thousands were caught in an underground tunnel who thought they had found a short-cut. Instead of plunging into the crowd, I walked around the edges. This is what I saw.
The National Park Service issued eight permits for "first amendment activity" in federal parks and along the parade route. Before the day was over I managed to locate four of them, but could only get close to two.
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