WASHINGTON: Protesters set on fire a limousine just half a mile from Donald Trump’s victory parade, as violent protest erupted in Washington and other US cities against Trump inauguration.
In downtown Washington, the violent protesters also lobbed rocks into lines of police. Smoke filled the streets as the limousine burnt, with police filling the area and firing tear gas at protesters.
Police arrested more than 217 protesters while six police officers suffered minor injuries.
As night fell, protesters set a bonfire blocks from the White House and reportedly frightened well-dressed Trump supporters as they ventured to the new president’s inaugural balls. Police briefly ordered ball goers to remain inside their hotel as they worked to contain advancing protesters.
The first instances of destruction came before the inauguration, and police moved in large groups to disperse mobs of demonstrators as tear gas lingered in the air and the pavement was speckled with broken glass.
Ronald Dye, 56, said he hid under tables at Starbucks as 300 to 400 protesters swept past, some stopping to hurl bricks.
Police fired flash bangs and detained a small number of protesters before the crowd continued on through the scene of their destruction.
Peaceful protesters milled around with signs like “not my president” and “say no to racism”, looking equally startled by the destruction. In addition to Starbucks the windows of a McDonald’s, Wells Fargo bank and several cars had been smashed.