This is my first time visiting the nation’s Capital and it wasn’t for the tourist stuff. I made the long drive to D.C. to capture the effects of the lock down, while the 46th President of the United State was being sworn in and took office. It was a rare opportunity to capture history and show the story behind the smallest inauguration in modern times.
The low attendance for this inauguration had to do with the January 6th uprising, where many supporters of the outgoing president stormed the Capital building and it led to a major lockdown of downtown Washington. While most Americans were watching a live cast of the events within the secured gates and barriers, a small group of folks went outside to experience the streets of D.C.
The experience is best described as EERIE. As I drove to town on the morning of the inauguration, I noticed the empty streets and security checkpoints as I approached government buildings. The only sign of life that morning was military presence by the U.S. National Guard and Capital Police. The city was on total lockdown there were very few visitors coming to witness the transition of the highest office in this land.
After parking my car, I walked around and the streets to find some signs of life. As I approached the Capital building, the intersection had military barricades with large vehicles and guarded with armed National Guardsmen. The only other people that I initially saw were members of the press briefing America of the news surrounding today’s inauguration.
I happened to find small groups of people, who were either protesting or walking around. This included a religious group who likes to condemn a specific demographic of people for their lifestyle choice. As I continued to walk around, you could not hear anything from the inauguration, no cheering, no clapping, nothing. It was like nothing ever happened.
There was an area that was blocked off by security gates and large buses, which was the closet we can get to the Capital building. This area had a largest crowd for the day, which had a couple hundred of people that included a mix of Press professionals, a few protestors, a handful of vendors, and a few folks who supported either Trump or Biden. That was the main action of the day in D.C. and by 1 PM, the crowd began to disperse.
Below are the images that I captured that day and I hope it humbles us and makes us think how we got to the point where we were locked out of this major transition of power, based on voices of millions of American voters.