Protesters throng Trump inauguration route and face off with police

·Senior Politics Editor

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Inauguration Day was a gray and occasionally drizzly affair in America’s capital, and anti-Donald Trump protesters turned out in force to demonstrate against the new president’s administration. Over 200 were arrested amid confrontations with police.

The downtown streets of a city that voted more than 90 percent for Hillary Clinton were largely deserted with the exception of a mixture of anti-Trump protesters, many of whom were local, and Trump supporters, mostly from outside the area, trying to get through a complicated and shifting maze of barricades and security checkpoints. Stands and pens along the parade route were astonishingly empty by early afternoon.

Democracy, it seemed, was in the streets.

Small bands of protesters, unable or unwilling to reach designated protest zones, smashed the windows of vehicles and banks. Washington police said 217 demonstrators were arrested, and accused of rioting during inauguration protests. Six officers suffered minor injuries, authorities said.

Others faced aggressive crowd-control measures from police, including pepper spray, tear gas and loud sounds.

But thousands of other protesters massed peacefully just blocks away from the most confrontational action, wearing pink “Pussyhats” or chanting and carrying signs.

They came to join protests partially put together by the Answer Coalition and the DisruptJ20 movement. The latter had smaller issue-oriented affinity groups blocking early-morning access to the gates to the inauguration parade route.

Some wore coordinated costumes to highlight the investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia and the Russian intelligence hacking of Democrats during the election.

They were greeted by shouting from groups of Trump supporters with Bikers for Trump, his much-discussed “Wall of Meat.”

Some of the most dramatic scenes of disorder took place after Trump was sworn in and gave his inaugural remarks, and took place right under the windows of the Washington Post offices.

Elsewhere musicians performed and entertained the crowds long after the amplified inauguration music had ceased ringing out across the streets of downtown Washington.

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