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Politics & Government

Trump Supporters Mix With Protesters On Inauguration Day

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

It was light on A-list celebrities. The crowd was much smaller than eight years ago. Still, there were plenty of people out in Washington to celebrate and protest the inauguration of Donald Trump.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Stella Slattery was there in support of the newly minted president, and she was impressed with Trump's speech.

STELLA SLATTERY: I think that it was the first time that a president spoke candidly as to what he plans to do on behalf of the nation. And it's about time that somebody spoke their mind for better or for worse.

MCEVERS: Amy Kelash from Gilman, Minn. - population 200 and change - rode the bus for 32 hours just to see Trump get sworn in today.

AMY KELASH: We thought this whole thing was so crazy. We never - it was a joke to us at first. We should go to the White. I mean we should go to the inauguration. And we were toasting over New Year's, so excited about the direction of the country. And then we kind of got up the next morning; we said, maybe we can do this.

So we started looking for tickets and stuff and got - there wasn't a lot of tickets available that could get us back in the time frame. So on the bus, we ordered some sweatshirts up, got on the bus and headed here.

SIEGEL: Van Nelson from Toms River, N.J., voted for Trump and says he hopes for unity.

VAN NELSON: You know, we're all one nation. Let's come together and give him a chance. We, you know - I didn't support Obama, but after he got into office, I supported him to see where we went. So you know, that's why we're here.

MCEVERS: And of course, there were lots of people who were not supporting Trump.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: (Chanting) That is not my president.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: (Chanting) Not my president.

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Chanting) Not my president.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: (Chanting) Not my president.

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Chanting) Not my president.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: (Chanting) Not my president.

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Chanting) Not my president.

MCEVERS: There were several protests around Washington, D.C. - some violent, most peaceful.

SIEGEL: Anti-Trump protesters also traveled far to be in Washington, like Landis Mcintire from San Diego.

LANDIS MCINTIRE: I normally don't attend things like this. But I want the world, the press to see that not everybody went for this. It's certainly - it's a big inconvenience to me, but I felt like I have to do it.

MCEVERS: Suhaib Khan is from Washington, D.C. He described the Trump presidency as a corporate coup.

SUHAIB KHAN: This is a takeover of our government by big money interests that's been going on for many years now. It didn't start with Donald Trump, and it's not going to end with Donald Trump. So we're here just to show that we resist not only Donald Trump but all of the white supremacists and corporate backing that he has.

SIEGEL: Finally, there was Lionel Parsons. He did not vote for Trump, but he came from Philadelphia to support the new president all the same.

LIONEL PARSONS: He's been legally elected as the president of United States of America. And you, as an American, have a responsibility to support your leader. So that's my position. I have to support him. He's the leader of the big family of America.

MCEVERS: Those were some of the many voices at today's inauguration ceremonies here in Washington, D.C.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE MICROPHONES SONG, "I WANT WIND TO BLOW") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.