While President Donald Trump was about to be sworn in as leader of the free world, leftist protesters were gathering and making plans to disrupt the historic event.
Some of the protesters simply held signs and chanted their grievances.
But other violent anti-Trump dissidents took their opposition to a new level.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans flooded into Washington, D.C and headed toward the National Mall to watch Donald Trump be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States last Friday.
And as was widely anticipated due to the perceived controversy surrounding Donald Trump and many of his campaign messages, attendees who had gathered to watch the inauguration were disrupted by those protesting his Presidency.
Although some of the protests were nonviolent, including those who held signs to shed light on the source of their dissent, one particular protest as reported by The Washington Post,
“took on a carnival atmosphere, with puppets, stilt walkers, and a giant inflatable elephant wearing a sign that read “racism”.”
Some demonstrators tied themselves together, creating a human blockade at an inauguration entrance. The police forced these individuals to make way.
Protesters chanted a range of things including, “Not my president!”, “We coming, we ready!”, and “You’re still drilling. We’re still here.”
However, some protesters took an even more obstructive – and in some cases – a more violent approach.
Several people arranged to be in some of the seats closest to the swearing-in. They came adorned in shirts that spelled the word “R-E-S-I-S-T” and chanted “We the people!” during Trump’s oath of office. They were removed from the area by authorities.
Later, as The Washington Post reports, protesters became violent and had stronger encounters with police at the Franklin Square area all the way to the northeast of the Capitol Building:
“After the swearing in, protesters arrived at the Franklin Square area and clashed with police. The protesters were throwing rocks, bricks, and chunks of concrete and taking newspaper boxes and barriers and putting them on the streets. Meanwhile, police appeared to be using a flurry of flash-bang grenades and chemical spray to hold the protesters back, pushing them block-by-block west along K Street, from 12th Street toward 14th Street.
“During the afternoon clash, the protesters started a fire in the middle of the street using garbage bins and newspaper boxes, and some climbed trees and light poles. About 100 officers in riot gear, carrying shields, stood in a line blocking off K Street.”
One individual, Daniel Hultquist, from Rhode Island, who was part of the protest complained that he was marching along drumming and chanting when the protest became violent. “People that throw rocks and bricks are undermining the cause,” he said.
The Washington Post reported another protest which resulted in violence, vandalism, and damage to the area:
“During the morning protest, a large group of black-clad protesters — self-described as anti-capitalist and antifascist — made their way south on 13th Street near K Street, throwing newspaper boxes and garbage cans into the street and trying to set them on fire, leaving them smoldering. They also threw fireworks and broke glass at bus stops, businesses and on the windows of a limousine.”
Some protesters burned flags to communicate some sort of opposition.
Some individuals were injured during the riots. Police used flash-bang grenades, percussion grenades, and pepper spray to keep rioters from vandalizing, and some of the demonstrators had similar grenades of their own.
Ultimately, police arrested 217 people for rioting and otherwise breaking the law, according to D.C. Interim Police Chief, Peter Newsham.