Everything you need to know about the protests during Donald Trump's inauguration

President Donald Trump was met with a flurry of protests on Inauguration Day, coverage of which at times overshadowed the pomp and circumstance of the festivities celebrating Trump's new tenure in the White House.

The protests began early Friday morning, with protesters seeking to block entrances into the National Mall — where pro-Trump spectators were hoping to gather to watch him take the oath of office.

Most were peaceful, with protesters carrying signs ranging from the silly to the crude voicing their displeasure and anger at Trump's impending presidency.

But late into the morning and early afternoon, the protests turned violent, with anarchists throwing rocks and bricks, smashing windows of storefronts and burning trashcans in the street, leading to 217 arrests, according to the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department.

The large number of protesters was in stark contrast to President Barack Obama's two inaugurations, which were met by little protesting and almost no arrests

Here were the different groups of protesters on Inauguration Day:

General protesters

Many of the protesters who descended upon Washington to protest Trump were not part of any group, but rather wanted to show up to protest against an incoming president they vehemently disagreed with.

David Lippman, 66, came from New York City to witness the protests. He was part of a large crowd who marched through Union Station — a major train station a few blocks away from the U.S. Capitol — while Trump took the oath.

"Social movements are going to have to make a big stink," Lippman told Mic's Aaron Morrison. "Black Lives Matter has to stay out there. Native communities too. And the people crusading to save the planet have to stay out there."

Many of the group-less protesters carried creative, and sometimes silly, signs to voice their displeasure with Trump's inauguration.

But the most creative protester may have been a man who identified himself as Ethan Abbott to BuzzFeed News.

Abbott, a farmer, brought a llama, two alpacas and a bird to the protest, telling the Washington Examiner that he wanted to "take back our farms ... and freedom."

Black Lives Matter

Nearly 50 Black Lives Matter activists headed to the inauguration, chaining themselves together to block one of the 12 entrances to the National Mall where spectators sought to catch a glimpse of Trump's inauguration.

More than 500 people joined the BLM protesters to help block the gate

After blocking the gate, the protesters began to march.

Dakota Access pipeline protests

Activists against the Dakota Access pipeline — a proposed oil pipeline that would run through indigenous lands in North Dakota — were part of the thousands of protesters at Trump's inauguration.

Groups of Indigenous people, as well as other environmental activists against the pipeline, formed a human chain like the BLM protesters to block off an entrance to the National Mall.


Inauguration Day protests were, for the most part, peaceful — except for the ones carried out by the anarchist "Black Bloc."

The anarchistic group got violent, throwing rocks and bricks, breaking storefront windows and lighting garbage cans and signs on fire in the middle of the street.

Their violent behavior led to clashes with police, who shot pepper spray canisters and set off flash-bombs to try and disperse the crowds, ultimately arresting 217 people for destructive and violent behavior.

These protesters were perhaps one of the smallest groups, according to reports from the ground, however they were the most destructive and disruptive with their tactics, leading to condemnation from lawmakers.


Scattered through the crowd were feminists, arriving in town a day before the planned Women's March on Washington.

Hundreds of thousands of people, men and women alike, are expected to attend the march on Saturday. 

But some came down in time to protest Trump's swearing in, carrying signs that said "Pussy Grabs Back" — a reference to Trump's now infamous "grab her by the pussy" tape released in October.

Some Democratic lawmakers, like Rep. Jackie Speier of California, even wore "pussy hats" to the inauguration — a hat Women's March attendees are wearing in an attempt to create a "sea of pink" during the march.