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The Inauguration And The March: Taking Stock Of A Weekend of Pomp and Protest

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Shepard Fairey
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Joining Tom today are two journalists who attended the historic Women's March in Washington on Saturday. Mary Rose Madden is a reporter for WYPR. Natalie Sherman is on the line from The Baltimore Sun newsroom.  We also take your calls, tweets and emails about how you experienced this past weekend's historic events. 

Many people are already referring to the Inauguration on Friday and the protests that occurred in Washington and around the world the next day as indicative of a massive paradigm shift, both in the policies of the U.S. government, and in the ways opposition to those policies might be organized moving forward. The President’s election was seen as a celebration of business acumen, triumph of populism, and a rejection of the status quo.

Mr. Trump came to power with the lowest approval rating of any president in history, and his first two-and-a-half days in office were seen by many as a calamitous mess. He signed executive orders that have already shaken the markets for health care, he astonished some in the intelligence community by giving a self-obsessed peroration in what is considered hallowed ground at CIA headquarters, and his press secretary’s debut in the White House briefing room included brazen and false claims about the size of the crowd at Friday’s inauguration. Yesterday, a Senior Advisor, Kellyanne Conway, asserted the primacy of “alternative facts.”

The fervor of Trump supporters, before and since the election is undeniable. On Friday, they enthusiastically applauded the new President’s brief, forceful inauguration speech in which he promised to put an end to violence in American cities, an end to the corruption that pervades politics, and an end to America’s not winning on the global stage. It was a speech that was short on graciousness, and long on bromides and slogans. It was rapturously received by the large crowd who braved the rain, and who ignored the scattered and sometimes violent protests that took place throughout the day.

And oh, what a difference a day makes. The dichotomy between Friday and Saturday on the Mall in Washington couldn’t have been more pronounced. On Saturday, a crowd estimated to be three times the size of the one that attended the inauguration, gathered on the National Mall to express their distaste for many parts of the perceived Trump agenda, and to stake a claim as an opposition that is energized and determined to thwart the initiatives of President Trump and the Republican-led Congress.

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On Mondays here on Midday, we read the names of people who lost their lives to violence in Baltimore City. We stand in witness to their untimely deaths, and we remember their families and friends in their hour of grief. A researcher named Ellen Worthing has been compiling a list of Baltimore homicide victims for the past 15 years. We are indebted to her for the data she posts on her blog, "chamspage.” We also consult the Baltimore Sun’s list of homicides, which they have been compiling since 2007.

So far in 2017, 20 people have been victims of homicide in our city. These six people were killed in Baltimore last week:

• Rashawn Fenner, age 25

• Andrew Zachary, age 23

• Angelo Wheeler, age 38

• George Cookson, age 31

• Herbert Allen, age 44

• Shawn Davis, age 34.

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)