One day after self-styled “anti-fascist” protesters attacked Donald Trump supporters who attended a celebratory gathering, anarchists once again caused chaos on the streets of the nation’s capital. Property destruction, assaults and fires marred Trump’s first day in office as leftists held to their vow to “go hard” on Inauguration Day.
Streets just five blocks from the inaugural parade route became a war zone as black-clad anarchists screamed obscenities, sprayed graffiti and gleefully smashed property while law enforcement scrambled to restore order.
At least 95 people were arrested and at least two police officers were injured as anarchists threw bricks and other objects at officers. Police retaliated with pepper spray and flash bang grenades.
Among the targets were a Starbucks store and a Bank of America branch, where violent protesters managed to destroy windows and escape.
Ashley Rae Goldenberg at MRCTV reported cars and limousines were smashed, as well as a bus station.
— Ashley Rae (@Communism_Kills) January 20, 2017
The destroyed limousine was then set on fire. Other bonfires were also reported in the city.
There was also some physical violence. So-called “Alt-Right” figurehead Richard Spencer was among the victims, as he was ambushed by masked assailants.
Though protests became more violent after Trump was sworn into office, anarchists caused headaches for both law enforcement and celebration attendees all day. Traffic was snarled as protesters blocked I-395, which runs through the city.
The protesters created choke points that forced long lines for those trying to move to designated viewing areas for the ceremony or parade. National Guard personnel on the scene said they were doing their best to keep the roads clear and admit attendees, but they also wanted to show restraint in dealing with protesters. Angry Trump supporters chanted “Trump!” or “U-S-A!” to drown out left-wing demonstrators.
Jeff Roorda, a former Democratic elected official, the executive director of the St. Louis Police Officers Association and the author of “The War On Police: How the Ferguson Effect Is Making America Unsafe,” urged a strong response from the new Trump administration.
“These lawless actions need to be met by the full force of the federal government,” he said. “Lawlessness begets lawlessness.”
Roorda blamed outgoing President Obama’s administration for tolerating and even encouraging an atmosphere of disrespect for police and law and order.
“As I outline in ‘The War On Police,’ this has been going on ever sense Ferguson,” Roorda said. “No one before the Obama administration ever thought to excuse or encourage such behavior. Yet today, here we are.”
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser condemned the rioters, observing that many demonstrators had not been respectful.
“We respect the right of people to express their first amendment rights but violence and destruction will not be tolerated,” she tweeted.
President Trump expressed his support for police in his Inaugural Address.
“We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we are protected by God,” Trump stated.
Roorda said he hoped Trump’s administration would mark a new era in government backing for law enforcement officers whom, he said, feel that they are under siege. Roorda also said it is important for all Americans, including Democrats, to support the new commander-in-chief.
“I’ve been a Democrat my whole life, and I’m rooting for Trump to be a great president,” he told WND. “It’s un-American to root against him. And even more than that, it’s especially un-American to engage in lawless, destructive and violent behavior on the day of his inauguration.”