In Depth

Donald Trump's inauguration: What time is it and what can we expect?

New York tycoon's big day is finally here - but protesters 'may end up outnumbering supporters'

Washington DC is in lockdown for Donald Trump's inauguration this afternoon, with the US capital expected to be filled with hundreds of thousands of people - supporters and protesters alike.

Police are expecting a crowd of around 900,000 in all, "significantly less" than Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration, which drew 1.8 million people, says NBC News. Added to that, many will be there to protest Trump's comments about women, immigrants and Muslims.

They also object to his promise to repeal the Obamacare healthcare reform and plans to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. Similar demonstrations are planned in cities across the US and around the world.

"Protesters may end up outnumbering supporters, which would be a first," says the Washington City Paper.

What time does it start?

At noon local time, 5pm in the UK, Trump will take the Oath of Office and be sworn in as the United States' 45th president.

Chief Justice John Roberts of the US Supreme Court will administer the oath on the steps of the United States Capitol Building.

After that, Trump will give an inaugural address, which will be beamed around the world. Obama's speeches in 2008 and 2012 drew nearly 60 million viewers in total and both lasted for around 20 minutes.

What else will happen?

Trump and his friends reportedly discussed a parade up Fifth Avenue, as well as a helicopter ride from New York to Washington DC, but security agencies have reeled in the more extravagant ideas.

Thomas Barrack Jr, leader of Trump's presidential inaugural committee, batted away the overly ambitious ideas. "The president-elect wants this to be simple," he told the New York Times. "He wants this to be about the people."

According to the New York Daily News, Trump is expected to attend two official inaugural balls, a sharp decline from the ten Obama attended in 2009.

Who will perform at Trump's inauguration?

Event organisers have dismissed claims Trump struggled to find entertainers willing to take part, although they've also told reporters: "This is not Woodstock."

Performers are expected to include Sam Moore, from soul duo Sam and Dave, The Rockettes, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Jackie Evancho, who was on America's Got Talent six years ago.

Who is protesting?

About 30 groups have received permits to demonstrate, but many more are expected to march without permission.

Protest group Disrupt J20 said it was planning "to paralyse the city itself, using blockades and marches to stop traffic and even public transit".

It also promised "a series of massive direct actions that will shut down the inauguration ceremonies and any related celebrations".

Another group plans to distribute 4,200 cannabis joints to attendees and urge them to light up. Possession of small amounts of marijuana is legal in Washington, although public consumption is not.

By far the biggest protest will be the Women's March on Washington on Saturday, which organisers expect to draw 250,000 people from hundreds of different organisations.

According to The Independent, "about 28,000 security personnel, miles of fencing, roadblocks, street barricades and dump trucks laden with sand will be part of the security cordon around three square miles of central Washington".

Who is boycotting?

At least 57 US representatives have backed civil rights campaigner and Democrat congressman John Lewis's call for a boycott of the event as a protest against the incoming president.

Lewis, who was beaten by state troopers during the historic 1965 march in Selma, Alabama, has publicly questioned Trump's right to govern.

"I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president," he told NBC.

His comments brought an angry Twitter response from the tycoon, who said Lewis is "all talk, talk, talk" and should "finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner-cities".

This led to a sharp rise in the number of Democrats who said they would join the boycott.

However, those who have vowed to miss the ceremony are largely from "safe districts won by Hillary Clinton", says Politico. Democratic leaders are unlikely to join in because they are aware that could "seriously damage any future attempts to work with the incoming president on policy areas where they share common ground".

Trump's team said it would give away the seats of those who are refusing to attend.

Political strategist Sean Spicer said: "We'd love for every member of Congress to attend but if they don't, we've got some great seats for others to partake in.

"It's a shame that these folks don't want to be part of the peaceful transfer of power."


What is Hillary Clinton doing now?
Hillary Clinton talk
In Depth

What is Hillary Clinton doing now?

Four things we learned from Donald Trump’s CPAC speech
Donald Trump addresses the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference at the Hyatt Regency Orlando hotel in Florida
The latest on . . .

Four things we learned from Donald Trump’s CPAC speech

Are Republicans too late to derail Trump for 2024?
Donald Trump wraps himself in the American flag during CPAC 2020
The latest on . . .

Are Republicans too late to derail Trump for 2024?

California Covid variant ‘may be more infectious and deadly’
A nurse places a blanket over a Covid patient in San Jose, California
Getting to grips with . . .

California Covid variant ‘may be more infectious and deadly’

Popular articles

Best TV crime dramas to watch in 2021
Line of Duty series six returns to BBC One in 2021
In Depth

Best TV crime dramas to watch in 2021

Quiz of The Week
Boris Johnson chairs a session of the UN Security Council
Quizzes and puzzles

Quiz of The Week

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 27 Feb 2020
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 27 Feb 2020