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Checkpoint Madness

7TH AND D STREETS -- A huge crowd at the parade route is not yet being screened, Post reporters and readers say.

Post reporter Michael Birnbaum reports that around 7 a.m. -- when screening was scheduled to begin -- the crowd began chanting "let us in," but the gates had not been opened by 7:18. People started trickling through by 7:35.

But the crowd at 3rd and C was getting angry waiting. 30 minutes passed since the police said it would open.

The 14th St. checkpoint has been closed. Crowd diverted to 18th St.

"So are we, like, here for the day?" one girl asked a stranger.

Readers expressed frustration about the situation via text message and e-mail, and a Twitterer posted this photo. Another worried that they might be trampled when the gates finally open.

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  January 20, 2009; 7:23 AM ET
Categories:  Inauguration  
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Comments

As of 8:30 they were still not letting anyone in. I have no idea if that gate has opened now or not.

Posted by: nhonore1 | January 20, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

This sounds like people are packed in like sardines. I imagine the police are mooving the line back as it fills by the mass numbers. If you get stuck in somewhere, yeah, it looks like you might be there for the day. I am watching from here and the masses go back for miles, and more are coming! It is amazingto see this many people gather in fellowship! Muhammad Ali is on Capitol Hill!

Posted by: max1mos111 | January 20, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

9 HOURS! 6am to 3pm my father and I waited in the crowd to get through the 7th Street security point. Maybe we weren't aggressive enough or impolite enough to go around the sides, against the fence and get ahead to the front of the crowd. A bus filled with what looked like Naval Academy students tried to force its way down 7th and through the crowd. At least we made it in time for the start of the parade, which was our main goal. 9 hours, not what we expected, but we got the privilege to share the experience with so many different people. For that I wouldn't have changed a thing. Oh and thank god for my phone which gets mobile TV. We got to watch the ceremony. Oh and thank you Terry Shakelford (sp?) for entertaining the crowd.

Posted by: rew_23 | January 21, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

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