WASHINGTON — Protesters set fires and hurled bricks in a daylong assault on the city hosting Donald Trump’s inauguration, registering their rage against the new president in a series of clashes that led to more than 200 arrests. Police used pepper spray and stun grenades to prevent the chaos from spilling into Trump’s formal procession and evening balls.

Several spirited demonstrations unfolded peacefully at various security checkpoints near the Capitol as police helped ticket-holders get through to the inaugural ceremony. Signs read, “Resist Trump Climate Justice Now,” ”Let Freedom Ring” and “Free Palestine.”

But about a mile from the National Mall, police gave chase to a group of about 100 protesters who smashed the windows of downtown businesses including a Starbucks, a Bank of America and a McDonald’s as they denounced capitalism and Trump. Police in riot gear used pepper spray from large canisters to help contain the violence, which erupted periodically throughout the day.

“They began to destroy property, throw objects at people, through windows. A large percentage of this small group was armed with crowbars and hammers,” said the city’s interim police chief, Peter Newsham.

Six officers suffered minor injuries, he said.

The confrontation began an hour before Trump took the oath of office and escalated several hours later as the crowd of protesters swelled to more than 1,000, some wearing gas masks and with arms chained together inside PVC pipe. One said the demonstrators were “bringing in the cavalry.”

When some crossed police lines, taunting, “Put the pigs in the ground,” police charged with batons and pepper spray, as well as stun grenades, which are used to shock and disperse crowds. Loud booms echoed through the streets about six blocks from where Trump would soon hold his inaugural parade.

Some protesters picked up bricks and concrete from the sidewalk and hurled them at police lines. Some rolled large, metal trash cans at police.

Later, they set fire to a limousine on the perimeter of the secured zone, sending black smoke billowing into the sky during Trump’s procession.

As night fell, protesters set a bonfire blocks from the White House and frightened well-dressed Trump supporters as they ventured to the new president’s inaugural balls. Police briefly ordered ball goers to remain inside their hotel as they worked to contain advancing protesters.

Police said they charged 217 people with rioting, said Newsham, noting that the group caused “significant damage” along a number of blocks.

Before Inauguration Day, the DisruptJ20 coalition, named after the date of the inauguration, had promised that people participating in its actions in Washington would attempt to shut down the celebrations, risking arrest when necessary.

Trump supporter Brett Ecker said the protesters were frustrating but weren’t going to put a damper on his day.

“They’re just here to stir up trouble,” said the 36-year-old public school teacher. “It upsets me a little bit that people choose to do this, but yet again, it’s one of the things I love about this country.”

At one checkpoint, protesters wore orange jumpsuits with black hoods over their faces to represent prisoners in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay. Eleanor Goldfield, who helped organize the DisruptJ20 protest, said protesters wanted to show Trump and his “misguided, misinformed or just plain dangerous” supporters that they won’t be silent.

Black Lives Matter and feminist groups also made their voices heard. Outside the International Spy Museum, protesters in Russian hats ridiculed Trump’s praise of President Vladimir Putin, marching with signs calling Trump “Putin’s Puppet” and “Kremlin employee of the month.”

Friday’s protests spread across the nation and as far abroad as Australia.

In Sydney, thousands rallied in the city’s central Hyde Park. One organizer said hatred, bigotry and racism are not only America’s problems.

In San Francisco, thousands formed a human chain on the Golden Gate Bridge and chanted “Love trumps hate.” In the city’s financial district, a few hundred protesters blocked traffic outside an office building partly owned by Trump.

In Atlanta, protests converged at City Hall and a few hundred people chanted and waved signs protesting Trump, denouncing racism and police brutality and expressing support for immigrants, Muslims and the Black Lives Matter movement.

In Nashville, half a dozen protesters chained themselves to the doors of the Tennessee Capitol. Hundreds also sat in a 10-minute silent protest at a park while Trump took the oath of office. Organizers led a prayer, sang patriotic songs and read the Declaration of Independence aloud.

In the Pacific Northwest, demonstrators in Portland, Oregon, burned U.S. flags and students at Portland State University walked out of classes. Police in Portland used incendiary devices and tear gas to disperse a crowd that at one point numbered in the thousands. About 200 protesters gathered on the Capitol steps in Olympia, Washington, carrying signs that included the messages “Resist Trump” and “Not My Problem.” Olympia police reported about 100 marchers causing some traffic disruptions downtown, and protesters also marched in Seattle.

The demonstrations won’t end when Trump takes up residence in the White House.

A massive Women’s March on Washington is planned for Saturday. Christopher Geldart, the District of Columbia’s homeland security director, has said 1,800 buses have registered to park in the city Saturday, which could mean nearly 100,000 people coming in just by bus.

Even before the sun came up on Inauguration Day, reports of protests and violence began popping up all around the District.

Baltimore BLOC created a blockade at one entrance of the ceremony, with demonstrators chanting and forming a barrier.

Elsewhere, Black Lives Matter protests and demonstrations were able to be found all around the National Mall and its surrounding area.

The demonstrations won’t end when Trump takes up residence in the White House. A massive Women’s March on Washington is planned for Saturday. Christopher Geldart, the District of Columbia’s homeland security director, has said 1,800 buses have registered to park in the city Saturday, which could mean nearly 100,000 people coming in just by bus.

Early reports on Saturday morning predicted about half a million people attending the march.

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(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press and CBS D.C. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (43)
  1. This is what the Liberal Left is all about,damage, hate,and hurting others

    1. keep in mind, from their point of view, why not. it’s not like they have to be at work on mon or anyting, and welfare checks won’t be in the mailbox for 2 weeks.

    2. Dan Welsch says:

      All police involved should have rubber bullets. Every 5th policeman should have real bullets. When the police see some one looting, throwing rocks, destroying private property the police should open fire on them. These creature are nothing more than vermin in our society.

  2. Judy Wilson says:

    All of the references to BLM is sad. Five times more blacks were killed in Chicago alone than were shot by police (with only a fraction of the police shooting called into question). BLM is a political anti-police organization.

    1. BLM-Butt Licking Monsters Those who believe and are concerned about “Russian Hacking” need to do more research. George Soros dumped millions into witch hillary’s campaign. Has purchased hundred of Judges throughout the US and funds idiot groups like the butt licking monsters.. Appears that soros is funding much of the overt activism occurring in DC. SOROS IS NOT AN AMERICAN does not live in America and has had more impact on the American political system than any Russian hacker.

  3. Dusty Rhodes says:

    Trash. Black trash/white trash. Protest is GREAT but destructive protest is criminal.

  4. Enjoy while you can.Trump will take care of all those bums at the right time.

  5. Disruptors are not protesters. Maybe $5,000,000 bail each to cover the potential damage they will do if released then set their hearing out 60 days minimum. Hold them in a mexican prison as an offset to pay for the wall. If the court did that and prosecuted each one they may learn more appropriate ways to get their views heard.

  6. Mike Tripodo says:

    Hahaha! I have never seen a better endorsement for Trump, than the people who are protesting AGAINST HIM!

  7. Democrats sure love their criminals – 217 DNC operatives arrested and 6 Hero Police Officers hurt in short order.

  8. Let the law breakers be persecuted to the fullest extent of the court’s ability.

  9. The DC cops have my permission to trade in their rubber bullets for lead with these Commie goon rioters.

  10. If only a handful of them would use guns, then we could really start cleaning up the crazies.

  11. We put up with King Hussein for EIGHT YEARS! Eight Years that will waste MANY MONTHS of Trump’s administration to eradicate! Did we riot? Did we go nuts? NOPE. We realized that half the country was temporarily insane and went on about our business. These commie rats should be jailed and fined and spanked and sent home to (probably) their left-wing hippie parents.

  12. rytwinger says:

    These boobs should ALL be awakening in Somalia or Yemen today, stripped of their American citizenship and armed with our well wishes….

  13. Wow, so many stupid White children! What a shame!

  14. Wearing a mask ? Better use bullet proof vest also.

  15. This hired thugs were doing this for the sole purpose of “optics’. They seek to get these sorts of images and videos circulating around the world to give the impression that there is great turmoil in America to discredit the new President. It isn’t mindless vandalism, it’s carefully planned theater.

  16. At least some of the ‘protesters’ were paid to be ‘angry.’ If those were part of the anarchist group, then it is a criminal enterprise and should be prosecuted as such.

  17. Getting a little tired of this. Unfortunately this is what 8 years of socialism has created. I was never a fan of President Obama, but not once did I riot. Not once did I say he wasn’t my president. I respected the voice of the majority, even if it wasn’t my voice.

    Thanks to Obama, we have expensive health insurance forced on all of us. Even auto insurance is forced on us (thank god for $25/month Insurance Panda coverage). What’s next? Mandatory phone insurance? We have taxes on top of taxes and our freedoms are slowly disappearing.

    Obama has a duty to set the record straight, and do something about this while he’s still in office. The rioters won’t listen to Trump.

  18. NOT that these PARASITES would have ever gotten a job, but having a felony or class A misdemeanor on their record sure isn’t going to help.

  19. I noticed from the photos of the protesters that for people who complain about corporate america, they sure had a lot of Iphones!

  20. Knocking down elderly, injuring police, and destroying property is not protesting, it is a riot. Treat the 217 arrested appropriately.

  21. Ken Price says:

    And just what will be the penalty for these losers? Oh, a wrist slap and a .20 cent fine?

  22. And now we know why our learned great White forefathers didnt allow women or non Whites to vote…been going down hill since

  23. keep those VIOLENT thugs in jail until Trump’s presidency is over.

  24. The police should announce the area a riot zone and calmly arrest the reporters who stand among the protesters as well as anyone with a mask. Covered by snipers with rubber bullets. I’m tired of these paid anarchist getting media attention.

  25. Mark Todd says:

    charged with rioting? i sure as hell hope that is a felony and if so they better not be offered a plea deal down to a misdemeanor.

  26. John Vance says:

    Convict them of rioting send them to prison !!! then when they get out they have to pay the money back to ins. co. or to the parties that did not have ins. to cover damage. or make the parents pay if they are under 18.

  27. Riff Schmidt says:

    This is what they are protesting:

    “A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions.

    It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag.

    And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.

    So to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, and from ocean to ocean, hear these words:

    You will never be ignored again.”

  28. Tim Brew says:

    Take a look at the photos above and you will see who the true fascists are and why Trump won the election.

  29. Riff Schmidt says:

    Democrats hate this:

    “Today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

    For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.

    Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth.

    Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed.

    The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.

    Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s Capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

    That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.”

  30. Put these idiots in jail for 1 year and see if they still want to protest.

  31. Asian countries for Asians.

    Black countries for Blacks.

    but White countries for everybody?

    That’s genocide.

    Anti-racist is a codeword for Anti-White

  32. Look at all the trashy people. The Democratic base!!!

  33. I feel like there is a lot of ugly going on with the rioters. Does rioting make you ugly, or ugly people like to riot?

  34. Tom Thomason says:

    These are the kind of people that seldom contribute anything to the country or others. They never serve and they never volunteer. Too busy trying to get theirs.

  35. Alt Bart says:

    Remember when the Tea party marched on Washington and all the arrests and cars that burned? No? That’s because there were no arrests and no vandalism of any kind. But according to the MSM , the Tea party is a bunch of “terrorists”and these fools are just citizens exercising their rights to assembly. This is why “fly over country” hates the MSM.

  36. These people are not protesters like this article says, they are anarchists. They have been charged with FELONY RIOTING. On top of that, they were on federal land so these cases will go to federal court. I hope they enjoy their stays in jail, they will be there for a long time if Trump has any say in the matter. He is a Law and Order President unlike Obama

  37. Let’s see if the new prez can do a little squeeze with judges under his jurisdiction and make sure those 217 do at least 30 days, no if’;s, but’s or maybe’s. Sends a striong message,.

  38. rytwinger says:

    We need to revisit exile, those that participated in violence should get a one way trip to Yemen or Somalia and their citizenship REVOKED!

  39. Those protesting are all clueless, violent, hateful, race baiting mental midgets. They acted like the liberal animals they are, and it is exactly why the democrats that support these animals, will never win an election anytime soon. Because of the rioting, protesting liberal animals, American’s are rejecting them, and their agenda, they did this last election, and will for more to come. Liberalism is a dying dinosaur, and it’s about to go extinct.

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