Conservative groups claiming without evidence that the Nov. 3 election was stolen from President Donald Trump staged protests across the country on Saturday, with one in Washington turning violent at times as police broke up sporadic clashes after dark.
Organisers of Stop The Steal, linked to pro-Trump operative Roger Stone, and church groups urged supporters to participate in “Jericho Marches” and prayer rallies.
But groups of pro-Trump “Proud Boys” protesters and “Antifa” counterprotesters brawled in downtown Washington on Saturday night. Police moved in quickly to separate them, using pepper spray on members of both sides, Reuters witnesses said.
Around 200 members of the Proud Boys, a violent far-right group, had joined the marches earlier on Saturday near the Trump hotel. Many wore combat fatigues, black and yellow shirts and ballistic vests, carried helmets and flashed hand signals used by white nationalists.
Earlier, police in riot gear and on bicycles kept the opposing demonstrators apart by blocking streets. After dark fell, the protesters – including members of the aggressive far-left anti-facism movement – splintered into smaller groups to roam the streets in search of their rivals.