This post was written by reporters Callie Schiffman and Natalie Maher.
People of all ages came together Friday morning in Meridian Hill Park for Occupy Inauguration, a peaceful protest against the inauguration.
Located about 30 minutes from the Capitol Building, the protest was filled with activist speeches from groups like Black Lives Matter, All Shades United and Standing Rock Sioux. Speakers urged for peaceful protest and commitment to a process of respectful pushback for the next four years under a Trump administration.
Green Party candidate Jill Stein joined the crowd of more than 100 people. Stein said the younger generation of protesters present should not feel rejected or listen to some who claim that they are now “powerless.”
“You have the numbers, the visions, the solutions and the power,” Stein said.
Stein added that the movement was now connecting protesters, whether they were demonstrating for financial reform or climate change policy, by asserting their political voice.
Native Americans from Standing Rock also came together on stage and sang traditional Sioux songs. Many of them wore jackets with patches that read “water is life” stapled to their back.
The park rang with chants of “build a wall, we’ll tear it down, D.C. is an immigrant town,” and “we do not consent, not my president.”
Asa Khalif from the Philadelphia chapter of Black Lives Matter said Occupy Inauguration was about coming together to assert a commitment to progress, regardless of how each individual protester personally identifies.
“This is the beginning mark on a four year journey,” Khalif said. “Everyone now, our gay, lesbians and trans brothers and sisters need to get out and show solidarity.”
Alexa Amore, who traveled from Cleveland for the event, said she came to be inspired by the like-minded people around her who value peaceful opposition.
“People are angry and they have the right to be angry. I hope the anger is channeled in a productive way,” Amore said.