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Inauguration: Which leading Democrats and celebrities are boycotting Donald Trump's swearing in?

More than 50 Democrats in the House of Representatives have been vocal in their decision not to attend, and are joined by scores of A-list celebrities

May Bulman
Friday 20 January 2017 17:47 GMT
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A stream of of high-profile figures in the country — both politicians and celebrities — have said in recent weeks they would not be attending the presidential inauguration of Mr Trump
A stream of of high-profile figures in the country — both politicians and celebrities — have said in recent weeks they would not be attending the presidential inauguration of Mr Trump (Getty)

As the pomp and ceremony gets underway in Washington for Donald Trump's big day, hundreds of high profile Americans are flooding into the city to celebrate the billionaire's presidential inauguration.

But many well-known figures have pointedly decided not to attend the landmark event.

A stream of American politicians and celebrities have said in recent weeks they would be boycotting the inauguration, telling the world on Twitter or in media interviews the reason behind their decision.

House Democrats

More than 50 Democrats in the House of Representatives have been vocal in their decision not to attend, many of them motivated by a feud between the President-elect and the civil rights activist and congressman, John Lewis.

For an idea of the scale, here is a list of the 53 politicians who have publicly abstained from attending the ceremony:

North Carolina Rep. Alma Adams, California Rep. Karen Bass, Virginia Rep. Don Beyer, Pennsylvania Rep. Brendan Boyle, Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Maryland Rep. Anthony Brown, North Carolina Rep. G. K. Butterfield, California Rep. Tony Cardenas, Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro, California Rep. Judy Chu,

Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark, New York Rep. Yvette Clarke, Missouri Rep. William Lacy Clay, Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen, Michigan Rep. John Conyers, Oregon Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, California Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison,

New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat, Pennsylvania Rep. Dwight Evans, Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego, Texas Rep. Al Green, Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva, Illinois Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, California Rep. Jared Huffman, California Rep. Barbara Lee, Georgia Rep. John Lewis, California Rep. Ted Lieu,

California Rep. Zoe Lofgren, California Rep. Jerry McNerney, New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, California Rep. Grace Napolitano, Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree, Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan, California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, California Rep. Raul Ruiz, Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader, New York Rep. José Serrano, New Hampshire Rep. Carol Shea-Porter,

Washington Rep. Adam Smith, Florida Rep. Darren Soto, California Rep. Mark Takano, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, California Rep. Juan Vargas, New York Rep. Nydia Velazquez, California Rep. Maxine Waters, New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth, North Carolina Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin.

Congressman Mark Takano said he would not be attending the inauguration because he felt “an obligation to not pretend that this is a normal transition of power”.

Mr Takano told the Today programme: “Donald Trump has displayed rather abnormal behaviour for a president-elect and I can’t pretend that this is normality. It’s the fact that Donald trump attacked a civil rights icon. That pointed to a different kind of illegitimacy. I don’t think we gain anything by pretending that this is a normal transition of power."

Maryland representative Anthony G Brown meanwhile tweeted that he would be "skipping" the event because he "can't tolerate disrespect", while Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota revealed on Twitter that he would not be attending because he would not "celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate".

California Representative Mark DeSaulnier said it was with a "heavy heart" that he had decided not to attend, while New York Representative Yvette Clarke said she had decided to abstain from the event stating: "When you insult John Lewis, you insult America".

Others still said they disliked pageantry and one California congresswoman, Karen Bass, said she had pulled out after conducting a Twitter poll of her constituents.

A-list celebrities

The Republican leader has struggled to attract the kind of A-listers who flocked to support Mr Obama at his two inaugurations — with some opting to protest against the event instead.

Many have been vocal about their decision not to attend, including Elton John, Céline Dion, Andrea Bocelli and Garth Brooks, who have all reportedly declined invitations to perform.

Other singers who have turned down the opportunity to perform include Charlotte Church, who tweeted Mr trump to say he was a "tyrant" after she was asked, and The X Factor UK contestant Rebecca Ferguson, who wrote an open letter stating she would only attend should if she could perform the historically important song “Strange Fruit.”

Dozens of celebrities had said they would join a women's protest march in Washington on Saturday, which 200,000 people were expected to attend, labelling the election result a "feminist issue".

Oscar-winning actress Patricia Arquette confirmed she would be attending the march, saying: "This is not a normal presidency. We've had Republican presidents, we've had Democratic presidents - this is neither of those. This a whole different thing, and I think people are responding to that."

Other celebrities who said they would be marching in protest include Olivia Wilde, Uzo Aduba, Constance Wu, Hari Nef, Julianne Moore, Debra Messing, Chelsea Handler, Amy Schumer, Danielle Brooks, and Frances McDormand.

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