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Inauguration Marked by Enthusiasm and Violence

Akron Beacon Journal reporter Doug Livingston witnessed exuberance from supporters of President Donald Trump and random acts of violence from those unhappy with the election results on this Inauguration Day.

WKSU's Jeff St.Clair spoke with Livingston about this vivid example of a divided America.

"It seems to be bipolar," says Livingston of the mood in the nation's capital as Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President.

Supporters waited for hours to witness the event on the Mall says Livingston, while blocks away dissidents, both peaceful and violent, expressed their views.

Livingston says supporters cheered Trump's promises to, "return power to the people, take power away from the parties, and be the people's champion."

But a different story was playing out in the streets as police fired tear gas at protestors who smashed shop windows and vandalizing parked cars just blocks north of the White House.

"It was really disheartening, but showed the full gamut of emotions running high on this Inauguration Day," says Livingston.

Protestors end up shattering the back window of this police vehicle. .@ohiodotcom pic.twitter.com/H8nxMPPVgT— DougLivingstonABJ (@ABJDoug) January 20, 2017

"I watched a woman with a black bandana over her face tear the windshield wipers off an SUV, then deface the side of it. The SUV next to it had all the windows busted out," says Livingston.

"In the street were three trash cans and three newspaper stands all lit on fire, a park bench was then thrown on top.  A cop car tried to make it through the crowd to assess the damage, and that car had it's back window busted out as it speed away."

But Livingston says there were less violent and more hopeful expressions of differences just a few blocks away in McPherson Park. 

"Trump supporters and folks definitely not happy with the incoming administration were talking, exchanging ideas, having healthy discussions," says Livingston, "some amazing interactions."

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A woman breaks windshield wipers off a parked car as part of violent demonstrations Friday in Washington.
A woman breaks windshield wipers off a parked car as part of violent demonstrations Friday in Washington.

Jeff St. Clair
A career in radio was a surprising turn for me seeing that my first love was science. I studied chemistry at the University of Akron and for 13 years lived the quiet life of an analytical chemist in the Akron area,listening to WKSU all the while in the lab.