Anti-Trump protests turn violent at inauguration
WASHINGTON — Black-clad activists angry about U.S. President Donald Trump's inauguration smashed store and car windows Friday, Jan. 20, in Washington, D.C., and fought with police in riot gear who responded with pepper spray and stun grenades.
About 500 people, some wearing masks and kerchiefs over their faces, marched through the city's downtown, breaking the windows of a Bank of America branch, a McDonald's outlet and a Starbucks shop, all symbols of the American capitalist system.
The crowd chanted anti-Trump slogans and carried at least one sign reading "Make Racists Afraid Again," a play on the New York businessman-turned-politician's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan.
They also vandalized several cars and hurled trash cans and newspaper vending boxes into the streets before being largely dispersed by police about 90 minutes before Trump was sworn in at the Capitol a mile and a half away.
"The message I want to send is that Trump does not represent this country. He represents the corporate interests," said Jessica Reznicek, a 35-year-old Catholic aid worker from Des Moines, Iowa, who was part of the protest but did not participate in the violence.
Not far from the White House, protesters scuffled with police, at one point throwing aluminum chairs at an outdoor café. A member of the "Bikers for Trump" group in town to celebrate the inauguration was struck in the face when he tried to intervene.
"I know, law and order and all that. We need more order. This ain't right," said Bob Hrifko, who was bleeding from a cut under his eye.
Two Washington D.C. police officers were injured in altercations with protesters, a local ABC television affiliate reported. Police detained about 50 people a few blocks away, as a crowd chanted "Let them go."