Trump supporters, detractors clash in Washington rallies

By Susana Samhan

Washington, Nov 14 (efe-epa).- Altercations erupted Saturday night in central Washington between supporters and detractors of outgoing United States President Donald Trump, which according to local media, let to the arrest of 10 people and one injury by stabbing.

After the demonstration of thousands of Trump supporters that passed peacefully to denounce what they consider to have been a fraud in the elections on Nov. 3, at dusk, tempers began to flare and skirmishes were recorded in the vicinity of the White House.

On the corner between L and 16 streets, with the presidential mansion in the background, pro-Trump protesters and detractors of the president began throwing objects and flares until police intervened.

One of the organizers of the counter-protesters, Marcus Aurelius, told EFE that “what has happened here has been a reaction.”

“They were ripping the art pieces off the White House fence (referring to the posters honoring African-American victims of US police violence put up in recent months in the heat of racial protests) and we went to resist,” said the 25-year-old, who said he was in favor of dialog.

Aurelius identified himself as a “pan-Africanist” and denounced that supporters of the outgoing president have been “harassing” them.

After agents separated the two sides, many of Trump’s supporters, including members of the far-right group Proud Boys, joined other supporters of the president on the esplanade that links the White House to the Capitol, while detractors stayed on 16th Street at Black Lives Matter Square.

Along with Aurelius were dozens of young people, dressed in black, some flying the Antifa movement flags. Many were armed with gas masks and bulletproof vests and rebuked the metropolitan police officers, who were riding bicycles and had created several human barriers.

Trump himself tweeted to criticize the counter-protesters.

“Radical Left ANTIFA SCUM was easily rebuffed today by the big D.C. MAGA Rally crowd, only to return at night, after 99% of the crowd had left, to assault elderly people and families. Police got there, but late. Mayor is not doing her job!” the president wrote.

Near the Washington Monument, there were dozens of other people, in this case Trump followers, who shouted “USA, first,” as EFE was able to verify.

From the Washington Monument they headed down Pennsylvania Avenue to a well-known hotel, where well-known American commentator Alex Jones was staying, famous for spreading conspiracy theories on the InfoWars website and podcast he founded. Jones has dubbed the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in which 20 children and six adults were killed, a “farce.”

One of the members of “Proud Boys,” who identified himself as Terry, told EFE about his admiration for Jones.

“Let’s see if he comes out to say hello to the window, he’s one of the best journalists in the United States,” he said.

He said he had come to demonstrate to “denounce fraud in the elections,” an accusation launched by Trump without evidence and repeated by his followers as a mantra.

Asked by EFE about what he was going to do after greeting Jones, another supporter of the outgoing president shouted: “Let’s go for beer,” while the group sang chants against the president-elect of the United States, Democrat Joe Biden.

Biden was declared the winner in the presidential election by media projections, but Trump has not accepted his defeat and claims, without evidence, that there was fraud in the vote. EFE-EPA


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