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Government and Politics
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Trump Inauguration Draws Youth Rally At Washington Capitol

As Donald Trump was being sworn in Friday morning, students from Olympia High School led a permitted rally on the steps of the Washington Capitol. Some were joined by their parents and had excused absences.

Student Sarah Jindy urged the crowd to be “stubborn and strong.”

“We are here to show the world the difference between right and wrong. And we refuse to quit and be on the wrong side of history,” she said to applause.

Many in the crowd held anti-Trump signs. Standing a little off to the side on the Capitol steps was Mike Bane of Lacey, Washington, wrapped in Trump-Pence yard signs.

“I heard that they were protesting against our president, of course I want to stand up for our president, move forward with America and hopefully rebuild our country,” Bane said. “It’s pretty simple.”

A large contingent of police and State Troopers monitored the marchers as did a State Patrol airplane overhead.

The morning rally was peaceful, however later a group of protesters took to the streets of Olympia to protest President Trump. At one point the protesters -- some of them wearing face masks -- sat down in the street and blocked traffic near the Capitol.

A skirmish briefly broke out at as a man in a blue baseball cap stood to the side recording demonstrators and eventually argued with them.

A small group with bandanas over their faces surrounded him. Reporter Jeanie Lindsay saw someone on the Capitol steps take his phone.

“Troopers escorted the man in the blue baseball cap away from the rest of the crowd after his phone was taken and he fell down the stairs a little bit and so did some of the other marchers,” Lindsay said.

Arrington de Dionyso was there, marching and playing saxophone. He said the day wasn’t entirely about being against Trump. He said it was also about resisting policies that he believes threaten women, gays and Muslims.

“And I mean a very very long list of things that we’re dealing with that we’re still going to be dealing with, Trump or not,” de Dionyso said. “But of course Trump is a very strong symbolic crystallization of everything we’re opposed to.”

Olympia is one of many Northwest cities holding a women’s march on Saturday.