Matthew Kaplan Photography

Inauguration Day Protest - Chicago - January 20, 2017

Friday evening after the inauguration some 600 to 800 people gathered across the Chicago River from Trump Tower. Some, like me, mostly stayed put with our backs to the Trump name and holding up our signs. More of the protestors were marching around the nearby streets. The crowd was mainly younger people in their 20s and 30’s, although I wasn’t totally alone with my grey head. The shouts I heard were mostly “f**k Trump!” without the asterisks. Police officers kept the demonstrators away from the tower by closing the Wabash Avenue bridge. A band of sousaphones and other low brass was situated at Wabash and Wacker playing mournful dirges, including Darth Vader’s theme from Star Wars, and a minor key rendition of “Hail to the Cheif”. Wafting through the gathering dusk and its gloomy fog, this insistent soundtrack lent the evening a mood even more ominous than the inaugural address and its vocation of "American Carnage". At one point a demonstrator lit an anti-Trump poster on fire. He was quickly hauled away by the police. I’m not sure why. Nor do I know what happened to him after that. A bit later, young people began circulating through the crowd telling us that at a certain time we were to rush onto the Wabash Avenue bridge and try to “take Trump Tower”. As if the Chicago police wouldn’t notice? I just nodded and stayed where I was. Eventually the maneuver was tried but it got nowhere. And what were they intending to do if they had somehow made it into the hotel lobby? I’m glad we didn’t find out. Somewhere during all the marching a demonstrator with a hammer broke the windows of a Michigan Avenue bank. I wasn’t there and didn’t see it. But it was in the news the next day. That will help bring down Trump, I’m sure. There were a few other “Show Your Taxes” signs being held up, similar to mine. Mostly by people with some grey in their hair. I was glad to be present displaying my message, but over all I much preferred the next day’s sunny solidarity. And I’m sure the messages of hundreds of thousands of Women’s Marchers will have more purchase than those of a few hundred unruly nihilists.

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