ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
Supporters of President-elect Donald Trump are preparing for his inauguration on Friday. So, too, are protesters. They've already begun with rallies in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Tonight they're holding what they're calling a queer dance party outside the D.C. home of Vice President-elect Mike Pence. The groups say there's much more to come, as NPR's Pam Fessler reports.
ROBBY DIESU: Take a step in if you're ready to disrupt the inauguration - yeah.
DIESU: All right, all right, thanks, folks. Go ahead and take your seats.
PAM FESSLER, BYLINE: Several would-be protesters were at a training session this weekend run by a group called DisruptJ20. Their goal, as you might have guessed, is to disrupt, if not stop, Trump's inauguration. Trainer Robby Diesu has everyone lined up to show how it can be done nonviolently. He tells one side to be protesters and tells the others to pretend they're Trump supporters.
DIESU: Who just drove eight hours to get here and to see President Trump become president. And you've come upon a protest that is preventing you from getting there. So ready, set, go.
FESSLER: Things quickly break down. Diesu later tells the group they can de-escalate tension first by lowering their voices and never touching their adversaries. DisruptJ20 plans to blockade or protest at every security checkpoint along the inaugural parade route.
Kate is with a group promoting LGBTQ rights. She won't give her full name. Many here are antsy about going public. She says they plan to dance, spread glitter and hand out rainbow flags.
KATE: Showing people who are trying to attend the inauguration that we're not going away.
FESSLER: And that they'll fight any effort to repeal laws protecting their rights. It will likely be one of dozens of protests around the city. Thousands of pro-Trump supporters will also be along the parade route.
One group, Bikers for Trump, has warned that they'll form a, quote, "wall of meat" to prevent protesters from spoiling the event, which has raised some concerns about possible violence. But at least one protest promises to be very mellow.
ADAM EIDINGER: So you put the filter tip at the beginning of the joint, and then you place the marijuana in there kind of like a taco shell.
FESSLER: Adam Eidinger and several volunteers are in his dining room rolling cigarettes. They plan to hand out a few thousand joints for free on Inauguration Day. They don't want the new administration to turn back the legalization gains made here and elsewhere in recent years.
EIDINGER: It's actually saying, we're here. We're a community. We're not going to be cowered. We just won 8 out of 9 ballot initiatives as a community in this last election cycle. We're more popular than either one of the two presidential candidates in all the public opinion polling. Why are you still putting us in jail?
FESSLER: This week's biggest protest won't be on Inauguration Day itself but the day after when the Women's March on Washington is expected to attract some 200,000 people.
CARMEN PEREZ: We're going to have musical performances. We're going to have spoken word. There are some people that have been working with us in the movement for quite some time that will be on that stage performing. We'll have gospels.
FESSLER: Carmen Perez is one of the organizers. She says more than a protest, the march is a chance for women to show their political clout. Many fear that things they care about like reproductive rights and racial equality are threatened by the new administration. Perez says the initial goal is to be heard.
PEREZ: And if they don't continue to listen to us and if they're trying to take away some of our rights, we'll come back.
FESSLER: Like the others, she says this is the beginning, not the end. Pam Fessler, NPR News, Washington.
(SOUNDBITE OF HECTOR PLIMMER SONG, "MISSION TO THE MOON")
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