Behind the scenes: Protestors prepare for Inauguration Day

Organizers gather in D.C. on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, ahead of a planned protest on Inauguration Day. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Organizers gather in D.C. on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, ahead of a planned protest on Inauguration Day. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

Photo of a protest poster
Organizers of an Inauguration Day protest plan to post these signs throughout Washington, D.C. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

Bins with protest posters
Two bins contain posters that will be plastered throughout the District in protest of President-elect Donald Trump. The people distributing these posters plan to protest during Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, 2017. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

Photo of a person putting up a poster inside a room
Inauguration Day protest organizer Liz Lowenguard right offers instructions for mounting poster with brush and wheat paste. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

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Organizers gather in D.C. on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, ahead of a planned protest on Inauguration Day. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Photo of a protest poster
Bins with protest posters
Photo of a person putting up a poster inside a room

WASHINGTON — Preparations continue for the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration. The inaugural platform is in place on the west front of the Capitol and so are the bleacher seats along the inaugural parade route.

Even the protesters are getting ready.

Activists are spending time this weekend plastering posters across the District to alert the public to their planned demonstration.

“We send out teams, about three people in a car, and they go on a street like Rhode Island Avenue, and they just go up and down and put the posters up,” said Sarah Sloan of D.C., an organizer with the Answer Coalition, a group that holds permits to demonstrate at two sites along the inaugural parade route.

“They’re 20-by-29 inches, huge posters, so that they can be seen by drivers,” Sloan said.

The DayGlo yellow and black posters are put up lawfully on lampposts and traffic boxes, under the terms of D.C. law, using water soluble adhesives such as wheat paste. The group will be responsible for removing the posters when the protest is over.

In the internet age, when word travels far and wide online, it may seem anachronistic to plaster posters as a way to drum up support. But the group also maintains a web page and is on Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media.

“Social media is incredible,” Sloan said. “It’s a way to reach so many people so quickly, but we also still maintain the same grassroots methods … . We still put up posters. We hand out flyers at the Metro. We do everything we can to reach a majority of people.”

The activists are promising peaceful, family-friendly demonstrations at the two sites for which they’ve received permits from the National Park Service: the Navy Memorial at Ninth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, and Freedom Plaza at 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

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