More than 200 people have been arrested as of Friday evening in connection with protests that erupted during the inauguration of President Donald Trump, according to a spokesman for the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department.
The demonstrations included acts of vandalism and clashes with police officers, who used flash bang grenades and pepper spray against the protesters.
Yahoo News was present for a particularly intense clash between police and hundreds of demonstrators that took place in the vicinity of K Street and 14th Street Northwest at about 5 p.m. Demonstrators lit multiple fires in the area and set ablaze a limousine.
Police officers in riot gear moved in on the scene and pushed the protesters back using pepper spray and flash bang grenades. Some of the demonstrators, many of whom wore masks and helmets, retaliated by throwing bottles and bricks.
A man who said his name was Hassan remained in the street facing the line of officers after being sprayed in the face.
“They’ll have to bodily kick me out against every fiber of my being,” Hassan said as he grimaced in pain and a mixture of pepper spray and tears flowed down his cheeks.
Hassan later told Yahoo News the experience felt like being “tattooed on the face.” He also shared his reasons for wanting to be part of the protests against Trump.
Hassan said he wanted to be in the street “standing and being representative of the fact that there is absolute disagreement with what is going on in this country right now.” He further explained that he believed Trump is a threat to minorities and LGBT people.
“The vast majority of minorities in this country have a whole lot to worry about,” Hassan said
The area calmed down by evening, though police and protesters remained in the street.
Not all of the anti-Trump demonstrators in the nation’s capitol on Friday clashed with police. Most took part in peaceful rallies and expressed their dissent through signs and costumes.
At one event in McPherson Park, Mary Musson and Stephanie Reece wore t-shirts for a hypothetical “Michelle Obama 2020” presidential campaign.
Reece didn’t hesitate when Yahoo News asked if she wished the former first lady had run in last year’s election.
“Hell yeah! Are you kidding? She’d be awesome!” Reece said of Obama.
Reece was far less enthusiastic about Trump’s speech following the swearing-in ceremony.
“He didn’t try to unite anybody, that’s for sure,” she said of Trump.
Musson described the president’s inaugural address as “horrifying.”
“I just found nothing uplifting or positive,” said Musson.
The pair told Yahoo News they came from Maine to participate in the “Women’s March” protest against Trump that is scheduled for Saturday. Musson predicted the anti-Trump demonstrations would extend far beyond the weekend of the inauguration.
“I think this is going to be a movement that’s not going to stop,” she said.