- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - About 100 liberal activists gathered on the Vermont Statehouse steps Friday to protest the inauguration of President Donald Trump and they vowed to confront what many fear will be a rollback of social progress in days to come.

The event, sponsored by the Vermont Democratic Party, began about an hour after Trump took the oath of office in Washington.

The party distributed T-shirts for its “Un-augural Rally.”

Party executive director Conor Casey said the state party needs to “roll up our sleeves and become an activist party again.”

Mark Hughes, of Cabot, a party official and the director of the Vermont-based racial justice organization Justice for All, said there may be a peaceful transfer of power in the United States, but Trump threatens the way of life of many.

“There will be tough times,” he said. “There is a lot of work to be done.”

The Friday rally came on the eve of a series of rallies across the United States that will coincide with the national women’s march taking place in Washington.

The Montpelier rally Saturday will march from the high school to the Statehouse.

In Maine, protests are planned for several locations, including Augusta and in Portland. Organizers of the demonstration in Augusta expect more than 3,000 protesters.

A half-dozen rallies are expected in New Hampshire with one of the largest at the Statehouse in Concord, with more than 1,000 people expected to attend.

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