Anti-Trump protesters clashed with police and were pepper-sprayed during a wild night in Washington DC on Thursday night.
A massive crowd of people who are against the president-elect gathered outside the National Press Club, which was holding the ‘DeploraBall’—a celebratory event organized by Trump supporters from the ‘alt-right’.
Hundreds of demonstrators were on the street outside the press club, many chanting and holding signs.
One pro-Trump person who was in the area, but did not attend the event, claimed the protesters were violent—accusing one of them of attacking him with a flagpole.
‘I was wearing my “Make America Great Again” hat, and a white male came up behind me and swung at me with a flagpole—I kind of blacked out for a minute,’ 21-year-old James Allsup told Fox News.
‘Before I knew it my head was gushing blood—there’s blood on my Trump hat.’
Allsup posted a picture on his Facebook account showing him sitting on the ground with his hand held out in front of his face.
His hand appeared to have blood on it, but the alleged injury to his head could not be seen.
The 21-year-old, who posts a number of pro-Trump and ‘anti-leftie’ memes and other items on his Facebook page, wrote a caption with the image that read: ‘Remember that this is what happens when you disagree with the “tolerant left”.’
Protesters denied claims of any violence.
Videos shot by people in the protest showed the anti-Trump crowd confronted and was confronted by pro-Donald fans.
Police were surprised by a pop-up protest as demonstrators attempted to descend on the Trump International Hotel on Thursday evening.
About 200 protesters shouting ‘Let Us Through’ and ‘The Whole World is Watching,’ marched behind a banner calling the new administration ‘illegitimate’ and ‘Fascist’ tussled with cops as they made their way down 11th Street towards Trump’s signature hotel.
They waved placards calling for the incoming administration to be stopped ‘before it starts,’ and calling for DC to be brought to a halt.
Cops on bicycles were the first to arrive and soon found their transport strewn across the street by the protesters.
One officer threw his own bike out of the way so he could join a human barricade to stop the protesters getting close to the hotel.
Most of the Trump family was away from the hotel at the time as they were just leaving the Make America Great Again Welcome Celebration concert at the Lincoln Memorial. But his 10-year-old son Barron was believed to be inside.
Barron, Trump’s only child with incoming First Lady Melania, had missed most of the Inauguration celebrations.
The protesters knocked down barricades outside the hotel but dispersed peacefully after chanting ‘No KKK. No Fascist USA’ for a few minutes
Riot squad police manned the area, and about 9pm they hit the sea of people with ‘chemical spray’ as those who were leaving the event were having trash thrown at them, according to the Washington Post.
DailyMail.com was able to get inside the ball, where a host of high-profile Trump backers spoke to the crowd.
Sheriff David Clarke addressed the ‘deplorables’ in attendance, most of whom went wild when he took to the stage.
The crowd reprised the ‘Lock Her Up’ chant throughout the night, and a bizarre painting of a very buff Donald Trump wearing a ‘POTUS 45’ t-shirt was on stage at one point.
Also spotted inside were Fox News host and Trump ally Sean Hannity, Geraldo Rivera, and ‘pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli.
One of the protesters told CNN Thursday’s events are a sign of what is to come over the next four years.
‘This is to build up momentum and mobilize people so that whatever s*** is coming down the pipe with Trump and Pence—their regime—we need to be ready,’ 26-year-old Sarko Sarkodie said.
‘The alt-right’s vision for this country is not the one that we need. I’m out here tonight because I want to be part of the resistance efforts happening this week, and the resistance that’ll be happening the next four years.’
Earlier, slogans had been projected onto a wall, including ones that read, ‘Impeach the Predatory President,’ and ‘Bragging about Grabbing a Woman’s Genitals.’
There was also a massive white elephant with the word ‘racism’ on it outside.
Other protesters were seen in pictures and footage on social media setting small items on fire—including signs and Trump hats.
A Metropolitan Police Department spokesman said there had been no arrests.
It is expected that there will be protests across the next two days in Washington DC, as Trump is sworn in as president.