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Trump supporters, detractors in Washington for inauguration like no other

President Donald Trump delivers his inaugural address after being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Patrick Semansky
January 20, 2017 - 10:00 AM

WASHINGTON - Beneath a sea of red baseball caps emblazoned with Donald Trump's campaign slogan, ardent supporters crowded the National Mall on Friday to watch a most unconventional politician assume America's highest political office.

Just blocks away, however, police deployed pepper spray in a chaotic confrontation as protesters registered their rage against the new commander-in-chief.

Spirited demonstrations unfolded peacefully at various security checkpoints near the Capitol as police helped ticket-holders get through to the inaugural ceremony. Signs read, "Resist Trump Climate Justice Now," ''Let Freedom Ring," ''Free Palestine."

But at one point, police gave chase to a group of about 100 protesters who smashed the windows of downtown businesses as they denounced capitalism and Trump.

Police in riot gear used pepper spray from large canisters and eventually cordoned off the protesters, who shouted, "Hands up, don't shoot," as a helicopter hovered overhead.

On the Mall, buried deep in a maze of security fences and checkpoints, it was a decidedly different scene.

Chants of "U.S.A.!" echoed throughout. One person shouted, "New day, baby!" Occasional shouting matches broke out — after all, Washington's own residents voted overwhelmingly against Trump.

At one point, when Hillary Clinton's visage appeared on the giant screen, there were scattered boos and chants of, "Lock Her Up!" Countered others: "That's so rude," and, "At least she came."

The crowd was far gentler on the outgoing president: Barack Obama received polite applause as he arrived at the Capitol, and his wife Michelle received an enthusiastic ovation surpassed only by the cheers for Trump himself.

Trump will become the 45th president by taking the oath of office in that same spot where his predecessor delivered speeches engraved in American rhetorical history. His advisers say he's worked on it himself, and will feature some campaign themes like bringing back manufacturing jobs.

The question of what happens to Canada hasn't come up often.

Trump has indicated he intends a tough renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. But some of his fans say they can't imagine Canada would get hit too hard, as its trade profile is similar to the U.S. and wrestles with some of the same challenges like lost manufacturing jobs.

"We're like family," said Esther Dunlavy of Kentucky, wearing a red "Make America Great Again" cap over a white rain poncho.

She said she used to be a truck driver and often visited Canada, and hopes Trump's policies leave trade flows intact.

What she wants from Trump is more coal jobs in her state, and a border wall to limit illegal immigration: "I want control."

— With files from The Associated Press

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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