Inauguration Protesters, Ranked by Effectiveness

J.K. Trotter
January 21, 2013

Any enormous political event draws protesters, and while there weren't a lot of groups actually registered for this year's inauguration, it was hard to miss the agitators in and around today's ceremony. But how effective were they? Here's a quick guide to the most notable inaugural protests, ranked from least to most effective:

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Not Very Effective: The Lone Abortion Protestor in a Tree

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A single protestor climbed a tall tree on the Washington Mall and loudly protested President Obama's abortion policies:

Anti-abortion protester climbs tree causing distraction during inauguration ceremony. #inaug2013…

— Capital News Service (@CNSmd) January 21, 2013

He apparently yelled for the entirety of the ceremony, earning the rebuke of many passersby. Reports BuzzFeed:

He wailed throughout the ceremony from start to finish: "Think of the blood of the babies! Democrats are baby-killers! What about the babies! Stop Obama!" ...

People in the crowd were barely tolerating the lonely protestor by the end of the ceremony. One man grabbed his crotch, shouted "Suck on this!" to the protestor, and flipped him off repeatedly.

The spectacle ended when a SWAT team removed him from his perch:

SWAT team attempts to remove anti-abortion protestor from a tree in front of the Capitol building.#inaug2013…

— Capital News Service (@CNSmd) January 21, 2013

More Effective: Drone Protestors

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Using a fleet of miniature drones attached to wheeled assemblies, a large group of protestors shut down an entire street near the Washington Mall to rally against the Obama administration's targeted-killing program.

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(You'll notice in the picture above a few protestors demanding "abortion on demand & without apology.")

Some of the protestors were later arrested by District police:

Drone protestors arrested #inaugration2013 in DC#occupy

— The Underground (@guttermagazine) January 21, 2013

Most Effective: The Protestors Who Carried Around a Giant Spine to Tell Obama to Grow One

Via City Paper's Will Sommer:

Writes Sommer:

The props are key at any protest, and these peaceniks delivered. Mock drones welcomed visitors to the park, but the centerpiece was a giant spine—telling the president to "spine up"—that needed the support of several people.