WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – President-elect Donald Trump officially begins his transition to Commander-in-Chief with two big events in Washington D.C. on Thursday.
In the afternoon, Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence will attend a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. In the evening, the president-elect will deliverss pre-inauguration remarks at a kick off concert at the Lincoln Memorial.
Wednesday night Trump arrived in Washington via his private jet to attend a pre-inauguration dinner honoring Pence.
“The president elect, our whole team, are ready to go to work and really advance the kinds of policies that, to borrow his phrase, will make America great again,” Pence told the attendees.
Trump’s inauguration address will focus on defining what that slogan means. He’s expected to focus on two broad goals; growing the economy and reducing fears about terrorism in what’s being billed as a non-partisan, populist speech.
“It’s going to be very hard for Donald Trump to convince the people who didn’t support him, to then somehow start to back him,” said political analyst Yamiche Alcindor. “He’s going to continue to be someone who’s brash, someone who doesn’t care about political correctness.”
An estimated one million people are expected in the nation’s capital for Trump’s inauguration including nearly 30,000 law enforcement officers tasked with keeping the proceedings safe.
A number of protest groups are expected to make their voices heard. One group of LGBT activists got an early start by holding a dance party near Pence’s home.
Their dancing was a protest against what they call Pence’s “horrific” history of supporting anti-gay legislation.
“Mike Pence is going to take the second highest office in our country and he has passed quite horrific anti-LGBT laws. He has also taken staunch stances against the LGBT community and we are not okay with that,” said organizer Firas Nasr. “We are out here occupying the street to assert our bodies and use our bodies to say we are here and we will dance.”
Nasr and his fellow protesters had a list of concerns about Pence’s record.
Two years ago, as the Governor of Indiana he signed the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” It was controversial and widely consider discriminatory against LGBTQ individuals, but that was only one issue on Wednesday.
“He’s an advocate of conversion therapy,” said one dancing-protester.
“I’m gay and trans. Mike Pence wants to take away my rights…the queer community is being targeted,” said another.
Nasr said the decision to protest with their feet was part a tribute to the victims of the Pulse night club shooting and part history.
“Dance has historically been a really powerful symbol for the LGBT community. Dance is a form of healing. It allows us to tap into our bodies and use our bodies, use movement to promote a movement – for peace, love, and self acceptance,” he said.
When asked what she wanted people to see when they saw videos and photos from the night, protester Alex Frazier said she hoped the world would look at the images and “see a bunch of loving people… a bunch of happy people…a bunch of people who are comfortable standing up for what is right a reasonable.”