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A march supporting US election loser Donald Trump has turned violent in Washington after clashes with counter protesters and police erupted as night fell in the city.
Tens of thousands marched on Saturday (local time) pushing baseless claims of voter fraud after Democrat Joe Biden was elected by voters as the 46th president of the country.
Carrying flags and chanting "stop the steal", the protesters walked from Freedom Plaza near the White House to the US Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill as part of the Million MAGA March.
Trump's motorcade briefly drove through the crowds on the way to his golf course in Sterling, Virginia. Demonstrators cheered as the president waved from inside the presidential limousine.
Donald Tarca Jr, who traveled to Washington from West Palm Beach, Florida, held a massive US flag sporting a giant portrait of Trump.
"I think it was rigged on multiple fronts," he said of the election.
"Also, the media was so biased that they convinced millions of Americans to vote for Biden.
“They hate Trump."
Scores of members of the far-right Proud Boys group, mostly clad in black with some wearing helmets and ballistic vests, were among the marchers.
Some left-wing groups staged small counter-demonstrations, including members of the loose movement known as Antifa.
Clashes between the groups were filmed and posted online as anti-Trump protesters swarmed a hotel where the MAGA crowd were staying as things turned increasingly violent as night fell.
In another incident, three Trump supporters outside a restaurant were confronted by protesters who threw fireworks at them, NBC 4 reported. Multiple videos posted online show the fireworks explode as diners scamper away.
BREAKING 3 Trump supporters are eating outside at a restaurant, 2 blocks from the White House. 16th & K St. A large group confronts them. Someone throws what appears to be fireworks. Moments later, police push back a crowd that wants to confront Trump supporters: @nbcwashington pic.twitter.com/B8NDOTE0MJ
— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) November 14, 2020
Near the Supreme Court, some counter-protesters carried black umbrellas and makeshift shields, while others formed a line of bicycles to prevent pro-Trump protesters from approaching their group from the rear.
They called Trump supporters "Nazis" while the protesters shouted back profanities and threats.
Reuters journalists on the ground reported witnessing at least half a dozen scuffles and several tense standoffs in which police manned barricades between groups.
All out brawl between Proud Boys and Antifa in the streets of DC. pic.twitter.com/dIp1aNfyGV
— Matthew Miller (@mattmiller757) November 15, 2020
Protesters chanting Black Lives Matter were filmed terrorising older Trump supporters.
In one instance, several counter-protesters near Union Station attacked a Trump supporter, who fell to the ground and received medical care after suffering a cut to the head.
A Black Lives Matter protester was photographed lying on the road, bleeding from the mouth while another was photographed spray-painting a car.
One person is reportedly in a critical condition after being stabbed.
Police were forced to push back a large crowd looking to confront Trump supporters at hotels in downtown Washington DC, deploying tear gas against the crowd.
Others lit a Trump poster on fire while police were forced to intervene in a brawl between protesters and members of the The Proud Boys.
The city's police department had made 10 arrests by mid-afternoon, a spokeswoman told Reuters, including four for firearms violations, two for assault and one for assaulting an officer.
President Trump later tweeted about the violence, but only condemned one side calling Antifa "scum".
“DC Police, get going — do your job and don’t hold back!!!” he wrote.
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