Instead of traditional issue-centered protest posters, as the president passed Freedom Plaza two independent artists hoisted up a bevy of black and white signs with messages such as “The right to end poverty” or simply “human rights.”
“I’m not here in any way to provoke anything,” said New York City-based artist Laurie Arbeiter as she alternated holding several of the 41 signs she brought to the parade.
Rather, Ms. Arbeiter said she hoped to engage people in conversation about some of the topics mentioned in her signs’ messages and to encourage people to participate by finding a sign with a message that spoke to them. Intense security led Ms. Arbeiter and fellow artists to rotate through the signs themselves as officials told them they would be escorted out of the secure area surrounding the parade route if they distributed any signs.
U.S. Capitol Police said three people were arrested during the inaugural festivities, but only one arrest — a man who climbed a tree — was protest-related. The man was seen clinging to the top of a tree in front of the U.S. Capitol screaming loudly about abortion.
Another man was arrested after law enforcement officials discovered he had an open warrant and a final person was arrested for being intoxicated in public, Mr. Antrobus said.
• This article is based in part on wire service reports.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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