Protests Turn Chaotic Before Trump's Inauguration Parade

Riot police deployed tear gas and arrested dozens in the streets of Washington, D.C. in the minutes leading up to the parade.

Published Jan. 20, 2017

 (Chad Zuber / Shutterstock, Inc.)
Image courtesy of Chad Zuber / Shutterstock, Inc.

The streets of Washington, D.C. turned somewhat chaotic on 20 January 2017. As crowds awaited the inaugural parade of newly-sworn in Donald Trump, some of the protesters who gathered in the nation's capital to express their displeasure with the new president began having confrontations with police.

Reporters on location posted scenes of chaos:

As the parade time approached, there was no indication protests would interfere with the ceremony. CNN reported that people lining the parade route couldn't see or hear the protesters. Much of the chaos took place while Trump was dining and holding formalities with lawmakers.

Per Reuters:

Hundreds of protesters with varying agendas marched through downtown streets, and some groups clashed with police, throwing rocks and bottles which police responded to with tear gas and concussion grenades. A helicopter hovered low overhead.

At one flash point, a protester hurled an object through the passenger window of a police van, which quickly sped away in reverse as demonstrators cheered. Earlier, activists wearing masks used chunks of pavement and baseball bats to shatter the windows of a Bank of America branch and a McDonald's outlet, all symbols of American capitalism.

Multiple vehicles were set on fire, including a black limousine and a television truck. A knot of people dragged garbage cans into a street a few blocks from the White House and set them ablaze, later throwing a red cap bearing Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan into the flames.

On 21 January 2017, organizers are expecting thousands to descend on Washington, D.C. for the Women's March on Washington. Police told reporters that 217 people were arrested on Inauguration Day.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who has been working in the news industry since 2006.

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