At least one stabbing and 20 people arrested, after hundreds of supporters of US President Donald Trump fought on the streets of Washington, DC on Sunday, November 112020.
Trump supporters unwilling to accept Democrat Joe Biden’s Electoral College and popular vote victory as legitimate.
Cries of “Stop the Steal” and “Count Every Vote” continued despite a lack of evidence of voter fraud or other problems that could reverse the result.
After night fell, the relatively peaceful demonstrations in Washington turned from tense to violent.
Videos posted on social media showed fistfights, projectiles thrown and club-swinging as Trump supporters clashed with those demanding they leave.
A variety of charges, including assault and weapons possession, were filed against those arrested, officials said. Two police officers were injured and several firearms were recovered by police.
One person was stabbed and rushed to a trauma centre, a spokeswoman for the city fire and emergency medical services department said. The Washington Post newspaper reported the stabbing occurred amid a melee between Trump supporters – some carrying batons – and counter-protesters that broke out about 8pm (01:00 GMT).
Trump himself had given an approving nod to the gathering on Saturday morning by dispatching his motorcade through streets lined with supporters before rolling on to his Virginia golf club.
A week after Biden was declared the winner of the election, demonstrations in support of Trump also took place in other cities.
“I just want to keep up his spirits and let him know we support him,” one loyalist, Anthony Whittaker of Winchester, Virginia, said.
At least 10,000 people – few wearing masks amid the surging coronavirus pandemic – massed on the city’s Freedom Plaza before marching to the Supreme Court in a raucous atmosphere reminiscent of a Trump campaign rally.
The march was largely peaceful during the day before turning tense at night with multiple confrontations as small groups of Trump supporters attempted to enter the area around the Black Lives Matter Plaza, about a block from the White House, where several hundred anti-Trump demonstrators had gathered.
Videos posted on social media showed some demonstrators and counter-demonstrators trading shoves, punches and slaps.
Later Saturday, Trump took to Twitter with a series of tweets and retweets that included claims of voting machines potentially being hacked and complaints about news networks’ coverage of the rally.