‘Bitter pill to swallow’ for some as Trump gears up for inauguration

Donald Trump will be America's 45th president and takes office at a time when the country is deeply divided over his election.

Donald Trump. Picture: Supplied

UTAH - Americans are gearing up for a historic day as Donald Trump will officially be sworn in as the new leader of the United States.

He'll be the country's forty-fifth president and takes office at a time when the country is deeply divided over his election.

While Hillary Clinton won almost three million more of the popular vote, Trump beat her in the Electoral College during last year's November election.

Utah is one of the swing states Trump won.

The mood in the area reflects that of many other parts of the country, where Clinton’s loss has been a bitter pill to swallow.

She won Park City but Trump won the state overall in spite of the majority of polls showing she would take it.

Clinton's campaign found strength in Hollywood stars, many of whom are attending the Sundance Film Festival.

Annual festival founder Robert Redford says he believes the incoming president will cause people to rally.

A large women's march will take place in Utah.

“In terms of what is going on right now and the feeling that a lot of people have of feeling fearful and that things are getting dark and the darkness is closing in around them. I think what that it's going to do is galvanise the people. I really have total faith in that those people who weren’t interested or figured ‘why, who cares’ are now going to realise they are going to be directly affected.”

PROTESTS

Thousands of people took to the streets of New York on Thursday to express their displeasure with Trump’s coming administration.

Some 900,000 people, both Trump backers and opponents, are expected to flood Washington for Friday's inauguration ceremony, according to organisers' estimates. Events include the swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the US Capitol and a parade to the White House along streets thronged with spectators.

The number of planned protests and rallies this year is far above what has been typical at recent presidential inaugurations, with some 30 permits granted in Washington for anti-Trump rallies and sympathy protests planned in cities from Boston to Los Angeles, and abroad in cities including London and Sydney.

In Washington, police cars lined much of Pennsylvania Avenue, the parade route, as workers unloaded crowd control fences from flatbed trucks, erected barricades and marked off pavement with tape.

US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said police aimed to keep groups separate, using tactics similar to those employed during last year's political conventions.

TRUMP COMMENTS

Trump opponents have been angered by his comments during the campaign about women, illegal immigrants and Muslims and his pledges to scrap the Obamacare health reform and build a wall on the Mexican border.

The Republican's supporters admire his experience in business, including as a real estate developer and reality television star, and view him as an outsider who will take a fresh approach to politics.

ANTI-TRUMP PROTESTS IN SA

Environmental organisation Greenpeace along with its allies across the globe, will be staging protests in solidarity with their counterparts in the US.

Green campaigners are worried about what a Trump administration would mean for global warming after his cabinet appointments raised more concerns.

Anti-Trump protests have already kicked off in South Africa with green campaigners mobilising a global spotlight on trumps inauguration.On Thursday Green Peace Africa held a demonstration on the Mandela Bridge in central Joburg.

The organisation's Lerato Ngakane says, “We see Trump is coming in and he is changing policy and obviously his state of secretary is one of the most contentious things.”

Ngakane says they are standing with their counter parts across the world in taking a stand for unity over division.“We are standing behind the USA, we are in solidarity with them. We anticipated the change he is going to bring, we are aware and we are going to take action.”

Green peace says trump's policies on climate change threaten the struggle for environmental justice.On Thursday night in Washington, scuffles broke out between anti-Trump protesters and police, with authorities using pepper spray to control the crowd.

Speaking at a pre-inauguration concert at Lincoln memorial last night Trump told the crowd that he will unify the country.

“I am the messenger, I am just the messenger and we were tired and I love you. Believe me I love you. We all were tired of seeing what was happening and we wanted change but we wanted real change. We all are going to make America great.”

_Additional reporting by Reuters.
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(Edited by Neo Koza)