Tony Shank traveled to D.C. from Florida with the group 2 Million Bikes 2 DC

By Diana Pearl and Alexandra Rockey Fleming
Updated January 20, 2017 03:26 PM
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Around 800,000 people lined the National Mall on Friday to watch Donald Trump be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

One of the thousands was Tony Shank, a 48-year-old welder from Lakeland, Florida. Shank traveled to Washington with the group 2 Million Bikers 2 DC, which organized a group of working-class Americans to attend the proceedings and celebrate Trump.

“We want to be there to welcome President Donald Trump and to stop the libtards from ruining the welcoming,” their Facebook page states.

Credit: Alexa Fleming

Shank tells PEOPLE he’s been on Team Trump since the first day of his campaign, in large part due to his concerns about employment and manufacturing jobs in the United States.

“I’m concerned with all the work that’s leaving,” he said. “I have a lot of co-workers and steel miner friends, and their industry is gone.”

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He also said he’d like to see jobs that have since moved overseas come back to America — in particular, the coal mining industry.

“I would like to see him continue to bring jobs back and open up the coalfields,” he said. “It’s the backbone of America, the blue-collar industries.”

Shank also expressed his displeasure with the growth of “white-collar” jobs.

“I’m tired of the white-collar industries,” he said. “They’re killing me.”

But he says he knows that change will take some time.

“It’s going to take a while because of all the repair that he needs to make.”