WASHINGTON — Some D.C. residents will not stick around to witness President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week on Jan. 20.
The inauguration of the President-Elect will be under heavy security this year following a deadly insurrection at the Capitol Building last week.
The FBI has also warned of plans for armed protest in the nation’s capital leading up to the inauguration.
Navy Yard resident Dan Nejfelt lives four blocks south of the House of Representative office buildings.
He said he plans to leave the District on Saturday to spend time with family in Virginia.
“Those live bombs that were found [last week] were along my dog's walking route,” he said. “That’s serious stuff.”
Nejfelt said he cannot help but think how much things in DC have changed in the last 12 years.
“I remember President Obama's first inaugural and how much hope there was for the country around that,” he said. “People came in from all over the country and now I think [the inauguration] is really symbolic of the moment.”
Nejfelt added he is also thinking about some people who will not have the ability to leave areas near the National Mall and Capitol Building Wednesday.
“I do worry for folks who don't have the opportunity to get to safer places,” he said.
For now, Barry Farms resident Jennifer Nelson says she plans to stay in DC with her two teenage children.
“I'm incredibly nervous,” she said. “I'm trying to prepare as much as I can.”
Nelson said she is currently stocking up on food supplies so she and her children will not have to leave the house unless it is necessary.
She said she will reevaluate whether she and her children should leave town again on Monday. But Nelson said, as of right now, she feels an obligation to stay in town.
“I lived in the DC area during 9/11. I lived here during the sniper shootings,” she said. “I don't want to leave here unless I absolutely need to. We are resilient here in DC. I refuse to let terrorists run me off. But I will do what I need to do to protect my family.”
Nelson said, as a DC native, she feels many out-of-towners have forgotten they are visiting someone else’s home.
“People live here,” she said. “And the people who live here believe in democracy. We believe in free and fair elections. We believe that the election of 2020 was free and fair.”
DC residents aren’t the only ones planning ahead of next week’s inauguration.
Takoma Park resident Dréa Rose said she also found the pipe bombs that were placed outside the Republican and Democratic National Committee headquarters to be disturbing.
She said her anxiety has been building over the last week.
“I have a bad feeling in my gut and something is telling me not to be here,” she said. “Chalk it up to basic human survival instincts, but the feeling is growing daily.”
Rose is also a person of color. She said racism can hide in plain sight.
“I was astounded that the insurrectionists could get that close to the building to begin with,” she said. “Had it been BLM or LGBTQ+ or any other group of protesters, that would not have gone down like that at all.”