WASHINGTON — Six police officers were injured and 217 protesters arrested after they smashed windows, damaged cars and threw rocks at police near Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony on Friday in Washington.
At least two DC police officers and one other person were taken to the hospital for undetermined injuries after run-ins with protesters, DC Fire Spokesman Vito Maggiolo told CNN.
Acting DC Police Chief Peter Newsham said all of the injuries to police officers are considered minor and non-life threatening but three of those officers were injured in the head.
After the swearing-in ceremony, demonstrators near 12th and K streets threw rocks and bottles at police, who were clad in riot gear and attempting to disperse the crowd. A large number of police were on scene and used smoke and flash-bang devices to try to scatter the protesters.
Newsham told CNN that there were several hundred protesters who were confronting police, while he praised the thousands of other demonstrators who behaved in a peaceful fashion to get their point across.
“We have been pointing out all along that this is a very isolated incident and by and large everything is going peacefully and a lot of folks have come to the city to enjoy this historic day, not only the Capitol but walking all around the city,” Newsham said.
In a statement earlier, the DC police said protesters “acting in a concerted effort engaged in acts of vandalism and several instances of destruction of property. More specifically, the group damaged vehicles, destroyed the property of multiple businesses, and ignited smaller isolated fires while armed with crowbars, hammers, and asps.”
Newsham said there had been 217 arrests as of 6 p.m. ET.
“Pepper spray and other control devices were used to control the criminal actors and protect persons and property,” police said.
Throughout the day, demonstrators, some wearing masks and dressed in black, shattered building windows, vandalized police cars and other vehicles, setting some on fire — including a limousine — and toppled news kiosks.
At one point, police used pepper spray as a group of protesters ran down 13th Street.
“I think Donald Trump is a fascist, and it’s very easy for people, especially people who are in pain, to slip into fascism,” said protester Lysander Reid-Powell, a 20-year-old student from New Mexico.
Ashley Link, 37, said she was frustrated by the violence of some demonstrators but understood why it was happening.
“I’m all about peaceful protesting, practicing nonviolence, but at the same time, I understand why people are so frustrated,” she said. “They are so upset about so many things in our country right now that to make a poster? There’s not a poster big enough to cover all the things that people are frustrated about.”
At one checkpoint, about 50 protesters sat down in the street in an attempt to block Trump supporters from entering a secure area to watch the swearing-in ceremony and speech. Not far away, a group of immigration backers staged a “pop-up” protest near another check point.
“We’re here to take a stand against the ideas that Trump spouted throughout the course of this campaign — sexism, Islamophobia, his bigotry, and nationalism,” said protester Jed Holtz, from New York City.
In a series of coordinated demonstrations designed to cut off spectator access, protesters blocked or caused bottlenecks in front of at least a half-dozen security checkpoints outside the National Mall in the hours ahead of the swearing in.
Three women were chained together at the neck on 10th Street, and more than 150 demonstrators organized by the DisruptJ20 coalition surrounded an entrance near the Canadian embassy. “This checkpoint is closed,” they chanted, forcing Trump supporters to turn back and walk along Indiana Avenue in search of a clearer path.
As Trump was being sworn in, a half-dozen protesters, each wearing a letter of the word “RESIST,” stood up from just behind the VIP area and began to recite the preamble of the US Constitution as Trump recited the oath of office.
“The only source of light on this miserable day is the massive, multi-racial, multi-generational progressive resistance movement led by women and people of color that’s already emerging to confront Donald Trump’s agenda of hate and growing stronger every single day,” said Democracy for America Executive Director Charles Chamberlain.
There also were anti-Trump protests around the world, including in London, Hong Kong and Berlin — where demonstrators held a sign that read, “Walls divide.” In the West Bank, Palestinians protested against Israeli settlements and Trump’s plan to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
In New York, seven people were arrested at a demonstration outside of Trump Tower, according to the New York Police Department.
On Thursday night in Washington, protesters gathered on 14th Street outside the National Press Club to demonstrate against “DeploraBall,” an event organized by some of Trump’s most fervent supporters. The name riffs off the campaign description of some Trump backers by his defeated opponent, Hillary Clinton, as a “basket of deplorables.”
As attendees — some of whom were clad in suits and red hats, others dressed in gowns — entered the event, demonstrators chanted “Shame” and “Nazis go home” behind a phalanx of police. Some held signs that read “No Alt Reich” and “No Nazi USA.”
The Women’s March gets ready for prime time
On Saturday, the Women’s March on Washington could attract a quarter million participants, organizers said.
“We’re really trying to set a tone of resistance for the coming years,” Lacy MacAuley, a DisruptJ20 organizer, told CNN. “Donald Trump represents a shift in our politics in a dangerous, harmful, exclusionary direction. We oppose those policies of hate.”
According to Department of Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson, as many as 900,000 spectators may attend inaugural ceremonies.
Johnson told reporters last week that 28,000 security personnel from dozens of agencies, including local and out-of-town police officers, will be fanned out across the city on Inauguration Day and into the weekend.
Organizers of the march, which begins near Capitol Hill at 10 a.m. ET, now say internal divisions, many of them stemming from a divisive Democratic primary fight, are being put aside in the name of solidarity.
“We have already proven that Hillary and Bernie Sanders supporters can work together against fascism, xenophobia, and racism,” Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American Muslim activist from Brooklyn, told CNN.
The march, which began with a modest Facebook call in the aftermath of the election, has grown in to what could be one of the larger political demonstrations ever in DC.
There are more than 600 “sister marches” planned around the country and fundraising for the event has largely come in chunks of $20 and $30 online donations.
“It really reminds me of the Sanders campaign,” Sarsour said. “A very grassroots, very grass-powered movement.”
CNN’s Brian Todd, Sarah Ganim, Noah Gray, Dugald McConnell, Pallavi Reddy, Jeremy Diamond, Betsy Klein and Chris Welch contributed to this report.