Donald Trump faces massive protests ahead of his oath taking ceremony
Washington has turned into a virtual fortress ahead of Donald Trump's presidential inauguration.
New York: Hours before Donald J Trump will take oath as the 45th President of the United States of America, massive protests have broken out in the Big Apple and Washington.
Thousands of people are out on the streets with placards that read “"Stop Trump/Pence Fascist Regime", "Keep your laws off my body","Fight Trump every day" and "justice and civil rights for all," among others.
The protesters took to the streets and held protests outside Trump International Hotel and Tower, and then marched a few blocks from the Trump Tower where the businessman-turned-President lives.
A host of A-list celebrities also made their presence felt at the protest site. Actor Robert De Niro, Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore, singer Cher, comedian Alec Baldwin and New York Mayor Bill De Blasio joined the noisy protests.
"Donald Trump may control Washington, but we control our destiny as Americans," de Blasio said. "We don't fear the future. We think the future is bright if the people's voices are heard."
While New York is Trumps's hometwon, a majority of people voted for his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in last year's election.
Meanwhile, Washington has turned into a virtual fortress ahead of Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, even as people took to the streets in the federal capital to express their displeasure with his coming administration.
Hundreds of protesters clashed with police clad in riot gear who used pepper spray against some of the crowd, according to footage on social media.
Close to a millon people, both Trump backers and opponents, are expected to flood Washington for the inauguration ceremony, according to estimates. Events include the swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the US Capitol and a parade to the White House along streets thronged with spectators.
While Washington is used to protests being carried out by different groups but as the police the number of planned protests and rallies this year is far above what has been typical at recent presidential inaugurations, with some 30 permits granted in Washington for anti-Trump rallies and sympathy protests planned in cities from Boston to Los Angeles, and outside the US in cities including London and Sydney.
US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said, "The concern is some of these groups are pro-Trump, some of them are con-Trump, and they may not play well together in the same space."
Trump opponents have been angered by his comments during the campaign about women, illegal immigrants and Muslims and his pledges to scrap the Obamacare health reform and build a wall on the Mexican border.
Bikers for Trump, a group that designated itself as security backup during last summer's Republican National Convention in Cleveland, is ready to step in if protesters block access to the inauguration, said Dennis Egbert, one of the group's organisers.
With agency inputs