WASHINGTON — A lone protestor managed to distract a large swathe of the crowd outside the Capitol for the inauguration on Monday by perching in a tree and yelling for the entirety of the ceremony, as well as for some time beforehand.
The man, who held a circular sign calling for a ban on abortion, had climbed to the top of a skinny pine tree in the front middle of the crowd. He wailed throughout the ceremony from start to finish: "Think of the blood of the babies! Democrats are baby-killers! What about the babies! Stop Obama!" It was unclear who the man was.
He was the only touch of the weird in an otherwise stately ceremony, untouched by protests in a year where protest activity at major political events has been on the decline.
People in the crowd were barely tolerating the lonely protestor by the end of the ceremony. One man grabbed his crotch, shouted "Suck on this!" to the protestor, and flipped him off repeatedly.
A woman in a purple fur hat passing by the tree remarked that she wished the man would "come on down from there."
"Looks like that tree should be cut down anyway, don't you think?" the woman suggested.
Another woman told the man to "come down and die" and "jump!"
Meanwhile, police stood placidly by. One Capitol police officer told BuzzFeed that the man would be left up in the tree until the crowds had dispersed, at which point "either he'll come down or we'll take him down."