Pro-Trump demonstrators, counter-protesters and police clashed in Washington, D.C., on Saturday evening after groups of the president’s supporters marched to protest the result of the 2020 election.
The demonstrations in the nation’s capital marked the second time since Nov. 3 that supporters of President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden team says it’s ‘no surprise’ Supreme Court rejected Texas lawsuit Trump praises FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine: ‘One of the greatest scientific accomplishments in history’ Giuliani says Trump team ‘not finished’ after Supreme Court defeat MORE flocked to Washington to protest President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden team says it’s ‘no surprise’ Supreme Court rejected Texas lawsuit Giuliani says Trump team ‘not finished’ after Supreme Court defeat Cuomo under consideration to become Biden’s attorney general: reports MORE‘s Electoral College win and called for the results to be overturned.
The president, his allies and his supporters have claimed that the 2020 election was tainted by widespread election fraud. However, there is no substantial evidence that voter fraud on this level occurred.
Organizers planned demonstrations in front of the Supreme Court, Capitol and the Department of Justice as part of the events scheduled for the day. Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn made an appearance in front of the Supreme Court and made a speech to the crowd gathered there.
In addition, Trump himself flew over protesters in Marine One on his way to toss the coin during the Army-Navy game.
“Wow! Thousands of people forming in Washington (D.C.) for Stop the Steal. Didn’t know about this, but I’ll be seeing them! #MAGA,” the president tweeted, acknowledging the group.
However, as the day went on, tensions rose between Trump supporters and counter-protesters close to the White House.
Videos and pictures posted to social media depicted what appeared to be groups of Proud Boys, a self-described “Western chauvinist” group, facing off against counter-protesters in Black Lives Matter Plaza. Members of the Proud Boys were dressed in bullet proof vests, according to The Washington Post.
There are hundreds of Proud Boys and hundreds of counterprotestors surrounding Black Lives Matter Plaza right now. Not a good recipe. Follow along here: https://t.co/VB9cPW10qh https://t.co/FJJfZ0LPAq
— Jessica Contrera (@mjcontrera) December 12, 2020
The newspaper reported that people were throwing fire works, causing loud explosions while police in riot gear stepped in in an effort to keep the two groups apart.
Around 5 p.m., the first of many arrests at Black Lives Matter occurred, according to Deadspin journalist Chuck Modi, who noted that the reason for the arrest was unknown.
This was first of a few arrests at BLMPlaza. No one knows reason #DCProtests #DefendDC pic.twitter.com/wrYDz5NI9O
— ChuckModi (@ChuckModi1) December 12, 2020
3 more protesters arrested and carried away by police #DCProtests #DCProtest pic.twitter.com/DjFbJvAEtl
— ChuckModi (@ChuckModi1) December 12, 2020
Police also used smoke bombs to subdue tension rising outside of a D.C. Hotel, according to footage shared from the scene on Twitter.
The protests are moving out and some Trump supporters apparently staying at a Hotel was outside causing problems. The police had to use smoke bombs to brake up the action. #dcprotests #MAGA #ProudBoys pic.twitter.com/YQHmQSWfBu
— Anthony Tilghman (@AnthonyTilghman) December 12, 2020
Some Trump supporters walked through the square and were confronted by people in black bloc. Police intervened as the situation began to escalate and BLM protesters did not seem happy about them being there: pic.twitter.com/odXciFX3qE
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) December 12, 2020
At least six people were arrested Saturday, but none of those stemmed from COVID-19 regulations. D.C. police have not been enforcing mask rules or issuing fines to social distancing violators, according to the Post.
The escalation between groups in Washington comes one day after the Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas seeking to overturn the results of the presidential election in the battleground states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The justices ruled that the state did not have the legal right to litigate over how other states conduct their elections.
Trump expressed his discontent with the decision earlier Saturday morning say that the high court “let us down.”
Still, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGiuliani says Trump team ‘not finished’ after Supreme Court defeat St Louis newspaper editorial board warns GOP incitement close to ‘getting someone killed’ Tucker Carlson calls CNN’s Amanpour a ‘half-wit’ MORE has indicated that the campaign will press on with additional legal battles to contest election results.
The Electoral College will vote on Monday to make Biden’s 2020 win official.