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Inauguration Protests Turn Violent in Washington, D.C.

Police face off with protesters as Donald Trump is sworn-in as the 45th President of the United States in Washington, D.C., Jan, 20, 2017. (Jeff Swicord/VOA)
Inauguration Protests Turn Violent in Washington, D.C.
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Protest groups in Washington showed their disapproval of America’s new president, Donald Trump, on Friday - Inauguration Day.

Police used pepper spray and sound bombs in a clash with protesters not far from the inaugural parade path of President Trump.

Police said they arrested more than 90 people for rioting.

Several demonstrations took place peacefully at security checkpoints near the U.S. Capitol building. Police helped ticketed visitors enter the ceremony, which was held along the National Mall. Protesters there held signs with various messages, including, “Resist Trump - Climate Justice Now,” “Let Freedom Ring,” and “Free Palestine.”

But about two kilometers from the National Mall, protesters began breaking the windows of businesses, including a Starbucks, a Bank of America and a McDonald’s. Police used pepper spray to try to stop the violence.

Some of the more than 1,000 protesters wore gas masks and linked arms. When protesters crossed police lines, officers resisted with batons, pepper spray, and sound bombs.

Some protesters threw heavy objects, including bricks, toward police. Others rolled large metal waste containers toward them.

Police said that the protesters damaged vehicles, destroyed property and set small fires.

Before Inauguration Day, a group called DisruptJ20 coalition had promised that it would interfere with the celebrations, risking arrest if necessary.

Eleanor Goldfield helped organize the DisruptJ20 protest. She said protesters wanted to show Trump and his, in her words, "misguided, misinformed or just plain dangerous" supporters that they will not be silent.

Trump supporter Brett Ecker told the Associated Press that the protesters were frustrating, but they were not ruining the day for him.

"They're just here to stir up trouble," Ecker said. "It upsets me a little bit that people choose to do this, but yet again, it's one of the things I love about this country."

I'm Ashley Thompson.

The Associated Press reported this story. Ashley Thompson adapted it for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.


Words in This Story

riot - v. to behave in a violent and uncontrolled way

brick - n. a small, hard block of baked clay that is used to build structures (such as houses) and sometimes to make streets, paths, etc.

frustrating - adj. causing feelings of anger and annoyance