Austin prepares for Inauguration Day

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Trump supporters raise signs spelling out the president-elect’s name at a Trump Rally on Aug. 23, 2016 at the Travis County Expo Center. Many students, professors and House Democrats will stray from watching Trump’s inauguration. 

Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff

The Obama administration will come to a close this morning as Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts swears in Donald Trump as the country’s 45th president.

Trump, who is entering office with historically low approval ratings, stood Thursday night in front of an audience at the Lincoln Memorial to remind the country he plans to use his message to unite everyone, including his opponents.

“We’re going to make America great for all of our people,” Trump said. “That includes the inner cities, that includes everybody.”

Around 900,000 attendees are projected to watch the swearing-in. While slightly less than what was projected for former President Barack Obama’s inauguration, Trump’s inauguration attendance number is on par with or higher than the events of former Republican presidents, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Those interested in watching Trump’s inauguration can attend a Texas Public Policy Foundation livestream at their headquarters downtown followed by a discussion featuring local
policy experts.

College Republicans are not planning a formal event or watch party to view the inaugural swearing-in, communications director Haley Steinman said.

Trump’s inauguration will feature an unprecedented reaction from congressional Democrats, with more than 60 prepared to skip out on the festivities altogether as of Thursday night, according to ABC News.

On Thursday, Rep. Filemon Vela of Brownsville and Rep. Vicente Gonzalez of McAllen joined House Democrats in skipping Trump’s inauguration, bringing the total number of Texas congressmen staying away from today’s festivities to five: Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin, Rep. Al Green of Houston and Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio, as well as Vela and Gonzalez.

“Mr. Trump’s repeated acts of disrespect for the 33 million Americans of Hispanic descent are historic in modern times,” Vela said in a statement Thursday. “The hope that his actions as president would not match his political rhetoric is becoming more and more of a distant dream.”

The number of congressional Democrats skipping out on Trump’s inauguration grew rapidly over the past weekend, as the then-president-elect found himself in a Twitter feud with Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, a civil rights icon who helped organize the 1963 March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.

Students, professors and faculty opposed to Trump’s inauguration will demonstrate on campus by walking out of their classes, beginning at 12:15 p.m. A coalition of groups — including Queer Trans Student Alliance, University Leadership Initiative, Native American Indigenous Collective, among others — planned the event to show solidarity with communities who could be impacted and threatened by the policies of the Trump administration, according to the group’s Facebook page.

The group of protesters will meet at the Tower for a rally featuring speakers, before heading downtown to join with a larger group of city-wide organizers.

The city-wide group One Resistance will organize at 5 p.m. at Auditorium Shores where protesters will march to the Capitol before returning to the starting point for a rally, according to the group’s Facebook page.

“America faces a crisis. Donald Trump’s presidency threatens millions,” the group said on its event page. “We must rally, protest, organize, and support one another. We must resist.”