Protests continue following Donald Trump’s inauguration, 217 arrested
Demonstrations unfolded at security checkpoints around the Capitol as protesters attempted to block people from getting through to watch the swearing-in ceremony. Images showed protesters carrying signs that read “Resist Trump Climate Justice Now,” “Stop Trump” and “Not my president.”
However, about a mile from the inauguration festivities at the National Mall, a group of about 100 protesters smashed windows at a Starbucks, a Bank of America, a McDonald’s and some vehicles before police intervened.
Video and images posted to social media captured the chaos as police could be seen using pepper spray, stun grenades and other crowd control devices on protesters in downtown Washington near 12th and L streets.
Loud bangs could be heard rattling through the streets just blocks from where Trump would hold his inaugural parade. Some protesters picked up bricks and concrete from the sidewalk and hurled them at police lines, while others rolled large, metal trash cans at police.
Officers arrested 217 people who were accused of rioting in connection with the violent protests.
Demonstrations caused “significant damage to a number of blocks in our city,” said D.C. Interim Police Chief Peter Newsham.
“Anyone who thinks they can come here and break the law, we will take them into custody,” Newsham said in an interview posted to the police department’s Twitter account.
Black Lives Matter and feminist groups also held protests Friday. More than 200,000 people are expected to gather on Saturday for The Women’s March on Washington.
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“We’re really trying to set a tone of resistance for the coming years,” Lacy MacAuley, a DisruptJ20 organizer, told CNN. “Donald Trump represents a shift in our politics in a dangerous, harmful, exclusionary direction. We oppose those policies of hate.”
Anti-Trump protests were also held in cities around the world including Tokyo, London, Sydney, Manila and Toronto over what some have called Trump’s divisive and dangerous politics.
In Montreal, several hundred protesters held a noisy demonstration in the downtown area near the Place des Arts Metro station before walked past the American Consulate. Protesters lit an American flag and an effigy of Trump on fire.
A banner reading “Build bridges not walls” was draped across London’s Tower Bridge Friday. Protesters on the iconic bridge held up pink letters reading “Act now!” soon after sunrise, while others unfurled the banner over the railings and a speedboat with a black flag reading “Build bridges not walls” raced down the River Thames.
The protest in London was organized by the campaign group also called Bridges not Walls, in reference to Trump’s pledge to build a wall on the Mexican border.
On Thursday night in Washington, protesters and supporters of Donald Trump clashed outside a pro-Trump event in Washington the night before his inauguration. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the National Press Club, which was hosting the “DeploraBall” – a play on a campaign remark by Hillary Clinton, who once referred to many of Trump’s supporters as a “basket of deplorables.”
*With files from the Associated Press and Reuters
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