Violent Anti-Trump Protests Lead to 217 Arrests on Inauguration Day

Trump inauguration protest
John Minchillo/AP/REX/Shutterstock

WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than 200 protestors were arrested in Washington, D.C., on Friday as Donald Trump was sworn in as the nation’s 45th president. Shortly before the inauguration ceremony, violent protests erupted along Washington’s K Street corridor when demonstrators threw rocks at police and storefront windows and set trash cans on fire. Later in the day, a parked limousine was trashed and set on fire near the spot where windows of the Hamilton hotel and a Starbucks were boarded up from the morning’s violence.

Washington, D.C. officials said 217 people were arrested following the morning scuffle with police. Washington, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser emphasized that the majority of the hundreds of people who took to the streets to protest Trump’s policies did so peacefully. Violence and destruction of property will not be tolerated, she said at an evening news conference.

“People are free to exercise their rights to protest, but stop destroying the city,” she said.

Officials said seven of D.C.’s Metropolitan Police officers suffered minor injuries in the scuffle.

The influx of visitors on Friday created a palpable sense of tension on the streets of Washington, turning it into a microcosm of the country’s many political and cultural divisions. Trump supporters wearing “Make America Great Again” hats couldn’t help but encounter protesters and the hordes of women who poured into the city Friday in preparation for Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington.

That made for fraught moment in many corners of the city. In a sandwich shop not far from the National Mall, patrons opposed to Trump spoke loudly about their disdain for the new president while a group of four men bedecked in pro-Trump hats and T-shirts sat in a corner.

Bowser said she did not expect Saturday’s Women’s March to be unruly. The protesters at the center of the disturbance on Friday included some young women, but there was also a clear distinction between the more militant activists and the large numbers of women who poured into the city on Friday. At the Union Station subway station on Friday, there was a long line stretching onto the street of women, many of them toting rollaboard suitcases and backpacks, who faced a long wait just to buy a Metro pass.

As the number of sign-wielding and fist-waving protestors swelled in K Street’s Franklin Square, younger Trump supporters began filtering in on the edge of the crowd. It wasn’t long before taunts and yelling ensued. At one point on Friday afternoon, there were dueling chants of “Not my president” and “Trump, Trump, Trump.” A small but vocal group of young men who favor Trump began singing the 1960s hit “Na Na Na, Hey, Hey, Goodbye” and Queen’s “We Are the Champions” as a young woman with a bullhorn led a small group in chanting “No KKK, no fascist USA.” The mood was combustible, to say the least. Numerous protestors were critical of those who engaged in violence. “Guys, that’s what they want,” a young man implored as others rushed in to help set trash cans on fire.

If trouble flares again in Washington’s streets as night falls, the Trump  administration may well face a test of its law-and-order campaign promises on the first day of his presidency.


Inauguration protest

Protests Turn Violent Blocks From Inaugural Parade Route

After the morning violence, the K Street locus of Friday’s protest turned chaotic again around 4 p.m. ET. A parked limo that had its windows smashed in earlier in the day was set ablaze, creating a fireball and toxic cloud of black smoke. A few municipal trash cans were dragged into the middle of the street and set ablaze. A fire truck quickly doused the flames of the limo, but police decided to move the crowd off the street next to Franklin Square. Flash grenades went off, prompting a mini stampede on K Street between 12th and 14th streets.

Meanwhile, plenty of inauguration-goers threaded through the edge of the protest crowds on their way to hotels and restaurants, making for bizarre contrasts. Women in ball gowns and men in tuxes were forced to move around young adults with crude sayings (“F— Trump,” “Keep Your Hands Off My Pussy,” etc.) on their signs and T-shirts.

Overall, the protestors seemed to be only loosely organized. Pro-socialism groups were on hand, along with Code Pink activists and the anti-globalization activists who attend marches with bandannas covering their faces.

Jill Stein, the 2016 Green Party presidential candidate, was on the scene in the afternoon. She was seen thanking some protestors and a volunteer team of medics for their commitment to taking action on Inauguration Day, although she did not expressly condone the violent acts.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 19

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Keith Volt says:

    If he’s “not your president” then you cant impeach him.

  2. The sad fact is that anarchists dominate today’s demonstration environment. Which is not to say that everyone who attends these demonstrations is an anarchist, only that anarchists do more to promote and shape their tone than we give them credit. Leaderlessness and unpermitted marches have become widely accepted under the umbrella of civil disobedience, and these are approaches that anarchists both actively promote and benefit from, freeing them from any accountability.

  3. Bill B. says:

    Never, ever has a new president caused the world to react in this manner. Never even close. These actions speak for themselves. He needs to go. Our president needs to be approved by the majority, not a minority.

  4. Angela Jensen says:

    Go protesters! Don’t forget you are supported by thousands of people in the USA and around the world. Also, the trumpsters threatened to start a civil war and that there would be blood running in the streets if trump didn’t win. Now that is truly deplorable and anti-American. You are standing up for Americans, even the ones too stupid to see it, against this orange dictator.

  5. Richard Vert says:

    These are NOT protesters . They are not old enough to have any kind of idea what they are even doing . They have been brainwashed by leftovers from the 60’s with ideas that have constantly failed throughout history . These old broken down hippies like Jill Stein are the instigators and the younger terrorists see them as “cool”. They’re not cool at all . They’re a road to nowhere .

  6. JOE S HILL says:

    All these Anti-Trump troublemakers don’t like Trump,then they like all the other liberal Hollywood celebrities whining and bitching about his presidency can all board a jet and fly to Canada! all these people will accomplish is getting thrown in jail for nothing! they want to be acting like punks and thugs then they’ll be treated like them! Trump’s inauguration was a great way to end Obama’s miserable 8 year presidency,and Hollywood didn’t like that,and that’s just tough!

  7. Robert says:

    This violence is mostly being perpetrated by young punks who are probably misguided anarchists at best, or general hooligans at worst. Their vandalism and destruction of private property only undermines any actual message they might have had though it really just looks like violence for the sake of itself and nothing more. MLK knew how to get a message across to far more people without it. We recently celebrated the day of his birth. Fools like this need to learn the lesson from him and then build upon it.

    • Richard Vert says:

      And , what have you got against Canada ? I suppose you want to send them all our nuclear waste too .

    • Bob Webb says:

      They are ensuring that the Dems will lose a couple of dozen more seats in two years. This behavior is fomented by Dem leadership and the people – including good Democrats – see this for what it is and are fed up. That is why Trump won.

  8. FULIBS says:


    • Just a Guy says:

      Each side has it’s bad apples. Calling a side libTARDS or Trumpsters or whatever only contributes to the very problem that you’re complaining about.

  9. News ALERT! 5000 photographers cover 200 domestic terrorists.

  10. eddie willers says:

    So did Jill Stein throw rocks too?

  11. eddie willers says:

    And the Republican Party grows larger.

  12. krumhorn says:

    That’s how the lefties roll.

    – Krumhorn

More Biz News from Variety